Action Needed on CDBG Appropriation
By Eugene T. Lowe
June 6, 2005
By the middle of June, Congress will take a major step in funding the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in FY06. The House Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, HUD, Judiciary and D.C. appropriations is scheduled to markup its spending bill June 15. Mayors and others have made a major effort to get level funding for the program at $4.7 billion. The CDBG Coalition consisting of national organizations representing appointed and elected officials and other national non-profits worked to get House of Representative members to sign a letter to the Appropriations Committee calling for "level funding" $4.732 billion for the CDBG program and adequate funding for other HUD programs in fiscal year 2006. The final number of house members signing the letter was 181.
When the HUD appropriations subcommittee meets, it will have 10 percent more in its spending allocation than was recommended by the administration's fiscal year 2006 budget. With this allocation, the subcommittee will have enough money to level fund CDBG. But there will be pressure to spend the increased allocation on other programs as well. With this in mind, the CDBG Coalition is continuing an all out campaign to make sure that CDBG is funded at least at last year's level of $4.732 billion.
The Senate has not yet released its 302 (b)s or spending allocations. On May 16, the CDBG Coalition sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting a 302(b) allocation "that will allow for full funding of HUD's housing and community development programs, particularly the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program at the FY2005 funding levels", which would be level funding for CDBG.