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Report: Reform, Don't Eliminate, the Community Development Block Grant Program

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is under the microscope. As the Trump Administration considers eliminating the program, the Urban Institute recommends a less-is-more approach.
April 19, 2017, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"In a policy brief published last week, the Urban Institute recommends changing the eligibility rules so that CDBG funding would be spread across fewer communities, providing greater assistance to low- and moderate-income neighborhoods," writes J.B. Wogan.

The report follows news that the Trump Administration budget blueprint would eliminate funding for the program. Among the recommendations included in the Urban Institute's report: an increased amount of funding for a program that has been reduced to $3 billion annually in 2015, from a high of $15 billion in the late 1970s. The number of communities that qualify for CDBG funding in that time has also increased dramatically—86 percent since 1980, according to the report.

According to Wogan, the Urban Institute's recommendations for reform of the CDBG program mirrors that of the Obama Administration in 2013—those recommendations were opposed, however, by groups who represent CDBG recipients. Any recommendation that would reduce the number of possible grantees is likely to encounter opposition for the foreseeable future.

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Published on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 in Governing
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