Thursday, September 14, 2006

 

Proposed Bush CDBG Formula Change Would Hurt Ohio

Earlier this year the secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced proposed legislation to change the formula governing the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The effect of the new formula is to shift the flow of funds from older, northern states to southern and western regions.

A recent report from the Federal Funds Information for States found that if the new formula had been in place in Ohio during federal fiscal year 2006 the state would have seen its CDBG funding cut by $16.6 million – only 5 other states would see larger funding cuts. The Bush administration has been critical of CDBG for some time now and has tried to cut funding in the past. At Congress’s behest, GAO is undertaking an effort to assess alternative formulas for allocating CDBG funds. As it awaits GAO’s analysis, Congress is unlikely to either approve the president’s proposed formula or adopt a new formula of its own.

Ohio housing and community development advocates should work with our state congressional delegation to block this funding shift, especially in light of the recent U.S. Census report that showed Ohio was the only state in the country with two cities on the top ten list of poorest cities.

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