For 43 years, local governments have been able to request federal funding to support projects in low-to-moderate income communities with Community Development Block Grants.
Now, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program is on the chopping block in President Donald Trump’s 2018 federal budget proposal. The proposed cut is part of a $6.2 billion, or 13.2 percent decrease, in the department’s funding.
In December, Community Impact Newspaper reported that Sugar Land and Missouri City’s allocations fell 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, from 2015 to 2016. The decreases are part of a trend that began in 2013, which was the last year either city had an annual increase in CDBG funds.
According to the budget proposal, cutting the program would save the federal government $3 billion dollars in one budget year. Sugar Land, Missouri City and Fort Bend County received a combined $2.86 million from the grants in 2016, according to city and county data.
“The federal government has spent $150 billion on this block grant since its inception in 1974, but the program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results,” the budget proposal said. “The budget devolves community and economic development activities to the state and local level, and redirects federal resources to other activities.”
Sugar Land, Missouri City and Fort Bend County officials said they are in the process of accepting applications for 2017 CDBG funding; the proposed budget would take effect in October if signed. Applicants must be nonprofits in good standing, although governments are permitted to use some of the grant funds for administrative purposes.
See what the cities of Sugar Land and Missouri City allocated in CDBG funds in 2016: