Democrats Urge Appropriators to Boost Funding for Community Development Block Grants
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, joined by Representative Michael E. Capuano and 65 of their Democratic House colleagues, has released a letter to key Members of the House Committee on Appropriations urging adequate funding for critical community development and housing programs in the Fiscal Year 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill.
The letter to THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham and Ranking Member Ed Pastor urges support for proven federal programs that are critical to providing safe, decent, and affordable housing. This funding also increases investment in job creation, essential services for vulnerable populations and economic infrastructure development in communities across the country.
The federal contribution to CDBG has been decreasing for the past three years despite the fact that state and local governments have been under increasing stress to address a wide spectrum of urgent community needs. “In order for cities and states to recover from a funding deterioration,” write Waters and Capuano, “we request that you restore the program to the FY 2011 level of $3.3 billion.”
The letter also urges the appropriators to fully fund the administration’s FY 2014 request of $4.6 billion for the Public Housing Operating fund and $2 billion for the Public Housing Capital fund.
“Maintaining this investment is critically important so that these properties can continue to serve the 1.1 million households currently receiving assistance, many of which include the elderly or persons with disabilities,” write Waters and Capuano. “Due to insufficient funding, 150,000 units of public housing have been lost to demolition, disposition or conversion over the past 15 years.”