Courtney’s Bipartisan Efforts Result in Increase of Federal Community Development Funding for Norwich And New London
(Washington, DC) — Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its new allocations for federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds provided through the fiscal year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed in March. Under CDBG, 22 communities in Connecticut receive direct funding, including Norwich, which is slated to receive $836,068, a 9.8% increase, and New London, which will receive $850,601, an increase of about 12% over 2017. Another $13.5 million, a 9% increase over 2017, is allocated to the state for all other communities which will compete for funding through the state-sponsored CDBG Small Cities Program.
Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), who worked on a bipartisan basis to reverse the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate the CDBG program in its 2018 budget, welcomed the announcement because the funding is used to support critical housing initiatives, public service programs, and maintenance of city-owned property. Earlier this year, Courtney joined a bipartisan campaign to the appropriations committee to prevent the Trump budget from eliminating the program. He joined with 182 of his colleagues in sending a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies asking that they fully fund the CDBG program. The members noted that for every $1.00 spent on CDBG, it leverages an additional $4.00 in non-CDBG funding. Unfortunately, the 2019 budget is again proposing the elimination of the CDBG program.
“Without the federal funding provided by CDBG program, our local municipalities would struggle to fund valuable public services and housing assistance programs that are often taken for granted,” said Courtney. “CDBG has become a critical vehicle for getting federal dollars into the hands of local governments who need this annual cash infusion to maintain these services and programs. Proposals to eliminate CDBG would have a devastating impact on our region and our state, which is why I will continue to work across the aisle to preserve this vital program as Congress debates the 2019 budget in the weeks ahead.”
Kathryn M. Crees, Community Development Supervisor for the City of Norwich, said, “We are grateful for the work that Rep. Courtney does, and the increase in funding we will be receiving this year which will enable us to provide additional programs and services to benefit low and moderate-income residents of the City of Norwich.”
Tom Bombria, Community Development Coordinator at Office of Development and Planning for the City of New London, said, “The City of New London is getting an increase of $112,271 over last year’s CDBG allocation. This means an additional 12% will be available to each of the 34 Council approved applications. The Office of Development and Planning includes 4 applications to provide staffing and programming to support various public services and economic development initiatives and will use any extra for the residential rehabilitation program to help income-qualified homeowners and to manage city-owned properties. There never is enough to support all the nonprofit community-based organizations funding requests so it is great to be able to provide some extra funding to the thirty different local programs approved to support the underserved youth, seniors, the homeless, and public facility improvements.”
In New London, CDBG funds are used to support about 30 programs and 6 positions. In Norwich, the program supports 11 programs and 4 positions.
Information from the HUD CDBG website:
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1209 general units of local government and States.