2014-01-23 / Local & State

Casey, State Officials Have Pushed For CDBG Investment

Program will create jobs, assist with low-income housing

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the congressional budget agreement, which passed both the Senate and the House this week, will include $3 billion in funding for Community Block Development Grants (CDBG).

“Community Block Development grants are a key part of how cities and municipalities across Pennsylvania move forward with economic development projects,” Senator Casey said. “I’m pleased that this compromise will ensure that communities across Pennsylvania have the resources they need to create jobs and spark economic growth.”

The budget agreement includes $3 billion for CDBG, which provides communities with resources to provide decent housing, expand economic opportunity for local residents, and create jobs through the retention and expansion of businesses. The Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) program assists low-income and elderly Americans afford safe and clean housing in the private market.

The text of Sen. Casey’s letter to Congressional leaders urging funding for CBDG can be found below:

Dear Chairwomen, Vice Chairman, and Ranking Member:

I write to convey my strong support for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding level of $3.15 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Program

(CDBG) for Fiscal Year 2014. CDBG funding is crucial to our efforts to rebuild and revitalize our communities by generating long-term job growth and economic stability, especially for the middle class. I have personally witnessed how efficiently communities have used this funding to reinvigorate their economies and to create jobs. This program provides crucial resources to over 1,200 entitlement cities, urban counties and states across the country and has a proven track record in its contribution to economic and community revitalization.

I was disappointed to see that the House of Representatives has decided to drastically cut funding for the CDBG program. The House funding level of $1.67 billion for Fiscal Year 2014 is inadequate and will make it tougher for cities and municipalities to make ends meet in a challenging economic climate. The CDBG program has already had its funding cut nearly 25 percent in the past few years and this has had negative repercussions in many communities across the country. Now is not the time to make further cuts to this important job creating program.

The CDBG program is a smart investment that directly helps cities and municipalities catalyze economic development and create jobs. As this bill comes to the floor I will continue to advocate for a strong funding level for the CDBG program. Thank you and the other members of the Subcommittee for your work on the Fiscal Year 2014 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.

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