Connecting state and local government leaders
The city executives will do so at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach later this week.
Mayors from around the U.S. gathering in Miami Beach, Florida, this week are planning to consider a resolution staking out formal opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate funding for the Community Development Block Grant program.
Local leaders have been pushing back hard against a proposal in President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget plan to ax the grants. The block grant program, commonly called CDBG, was allotted about $3 billion in a bipartisan budget deal for the current fiscal year.
They’ll also consider a resolution opposing the elimination of funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which provides local governments with grants meant to support affordable housing. HOME was allotted about $950 million in the current budget cycle.
Both HOME and CDBG are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Trump’s proposals to cut funding for the programs have gotten a cool reception on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers have been holding hearings on the president’s budget plan.
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, told Route Fifty earlier this month that “it’s fair to say that there is very strong support, bipartisan support” for HOME and CDBG.
But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has made the case that CDBG has experienced “mission creep” and suggested HUD should direct funding toward other priorities.
CDBG funds provide a flexible source of money that cities and other local governments use to help pay for costs ranging from sewer upgrades to services to assist the homeless.
More than 350 mayors have signed a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations committees opposing the elimination of the funds, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The CDBG resolution calls on Congress to support at least $3.3 billion of funding for the program in fiscal 2018 and to factor inflation into funding levels for it going forward. The HOME resolution urges lawmakers to back at least $1.2 billion for the program in 2018.
Three mayors, Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville, Minnesota, Joy Cooper of Hallandale Beach, Florida and Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina sponsored the CDBG resolution. The HOME resolution was sponsored by Mayor Setti Warren of Newton, Massachusetts.
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Bill Lucia is a Senior Reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.