Federal and City Relations

New bill would convert unused government buildings into affordable housing

California Reps. Adam Schiff and Jimmy Gomez cosponsored legislation that would direct the Housing and Urban Development Secretary to help refashion certain federal, state and local government properties into affordable residential rental projects.

Billions in earmarks headed to states and cities

The funding comes despite conservative opposition to the federal government paying for specific local projects.

$3.3B in federal grants announced for communities split apart by highways

The one-time infusion of cash for highway caps, bike trails and other improvements shows the Biden administration’s priorities for one of its most high-profile infrastructure initiatives.

Why it’s tough to stamp out housing voucher discrimination

In many places, it's illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants using Section 8 vouchers. Enforcing those rules is difficult, but governments are forging ahead.

Biden unveils $4.9B in big-ticket infrastructure grants

Three dozen projects got the green light and millions of federal dollars. The president also used the announcement to bolster his reelection campaign.

Connect with state & local government leaders

When a vendor pays a mayor $13,000, is it a bribe? The U.S. Supreme Court will decide

A former Indiana mayor asked the high court to intervene in his corruption case and resolve a disparity in which “gratuities” from outsiders are considered OK in some courts, but not in others.

Mayors urge ATF to finalize rules to expand background checks

The proposed rules would close the “gun show loophole,” which is one of several loopholes that currently allows one-fifth of all the guns sold in the nation to be sold without background checks.

Ahead of busy Thanksgiving travel, improvements to air transportation touted

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg highlighted a low airline cancellation rate, airport upgrades and the hiring of more air traffic controllers. He also cautioned that funding squabbles in Congress could hurt progress.

As cities struggle to shelter migrants, calls for federal action grow

State and local leaders have resorted to desperate measures—sometimes circumventing the federal government—to find housing and support for the influx of asylum seekers. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

The federal government has more than 8,000 vacant properties. Why aren’t they being used to house the homeless?

A 2016 law says unused federal properties should be turned over to help the homeless. But a complex process and bureaucratic requirements are making that nearly impossible.

‘Reconnecting Communities’ grant applications expanded

The federal Transportation Department announced $3.35 billion in grant opportunities to reconnect communities divided by highways, rail lines and other infrastructure.

Mayors: There’s a Mental Health Crisis in Every City

It is causing drug overdoses and homelessness in cities across America. But with the debt deal to freeze spending, it is uncertain whether federal help is coming.

New Map Shows How Common Train Derailments Are

Few are as dangerous as the one in East Palestine, but city advocates hope the online tool showing the location of thousands of derailments will underscore the need for a federal safety law.

New Initiative Will Help Cities Reduce Homelessness

The program will “embed” federal officials in six cities to help local officials get people off the streets and into homes more quickly.

White House Vowed to Play Key Role in Opioid Settlements But Has Gone Quiet

Billions of dollars are headed to state and local governments to address the opioid crisis. But if the federal government fails to oversee the use of the money, it could lead to wasted opportunities. And the feds could have a claim to portions of states’ opioid settlements.

We’re Back! Our Grand Return to Live Events

Route Fifty and GCN will hit the road with a new free event series to explore how cities across the country are building their future today.

$700M in Grants for Local EV Chargers Announced

The competitive grants are designed to install electric vehicle chargers in local communities where private entities are otherwise less likely to build them.

House GOP Tightens Rules for Earmarks

The move will likely limit future funding for state and local government projects in the areas of education, human services and workforce development, as well as for government operations.

In Preview of Debt Limit Fight, House Republicans Target Climate Funds

A House Environment subcommittee voted to claw back $27 billion from President Biden’s climate law, signaling what the GOP may demand in future budget negotiations.

Treasury Reopens ‘Help Desk’ for States and Localities

The call center, which fielded 300 calls and about 2,000 emails a week before it was shut down, provided governments with assistance on the handling of various pandemic-related programs.