Obama's budgets reverse attempts at cutting block grant funding
On the campaign trail, President Obama promised to increase funding for the Community Development Block Grant program. Run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the grants pay for housing projects in low-income areas, provide relief to disaster areas, and pay for various other community development and poverty relief programs.
At the time, we rated the promise In the Works, since although the 2010 budget included increased funds for the program, Congress still needed to approve the final amount.
On December 16, 2009, Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 into law. The bill provides funding for, among other government agencies, the HUD for the year 2010. Congress ended up appropriating $4.45 billion for the block grants, $550 million above 2009, to fund projects in 1,180 local communities.
The administration has released its 2011 budget, so we thought we'd take a look there, too. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the 2011 budget would provide $4 billion for the block grants. That's a slight decrease from this year, but is still high enough to let Obama keep his promise of reversing previous attempts to cut the program. In 2008, the Bush Administration said that the program "needs reform because it is not well-targeted to the neediest communities and its results have not been adequately demonstrated." It asked for $3 billion for the program, $0.9 billion less than the previous year.
President Obama's 2010 budget increased funding for the Community Development Block Grants. His proposed 2011 budget lowers the amount slightly, but is still consistent with his promise to reverse attempts at significantly cutting the program. We rate this Promise Kept.
Committee on Appropriations, FY 2010 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations, Dec. 8, 2009
Office of Management and Budget, 2011 budget proposal summary for Department of Housing and Urban Development, accessed May 13, 2010
National Academy of Public Administration, job summary and history: assistant secretary for community planning and development, accessed May 13, 2010
The White House, Bills Signed by the President, December 16, 2009
Office of Management and Budget, FY 2009: Department of Housing and Urban Development, accessed June 23, 2010
Bill with spending boost now in Congress
The Community Development Block Grant program, run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is aimed at America's cities. It pays for housing projects in low-income areas, provides relief to disaster areas, and pays for various other community development and poverty relief programs.
The program saw cuts under the Bush administration. As a candidate, Obama pledged to restore funding.
Obama's proposed 2010 budget increases the CDBG's funding from $4 billion to $4.5 billion, while also calling for internal reforms to make the program more accountable. This increase would largely make good on Obama's pledge to restore funding for the program.
The money still needs final approval from Congress. Currently, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, which includes $4.45 billion to fund the CDBG, has been passed by the House and the Senate. The bill must now get through a conference committee, after which it will be readied for Obama's signature.
The bill is well on its way to passage, but until it meets Obama's pen, we rate this promise In the Works.
Washingtonpost.com, Bush Plans Sharp Cut in HUD Community Efforts , accessed Oct. 2, 2009
HUD.gov, HUD FY2010 Budget , accessed Oct. 2, 2009
HUD.gov, HUD FY2009 Budget , accessed Oct. 2, 2009
Whitehouse.gov, Department of Housing and Urban Developement 2010 budget , accessed Oct. 2, 2009
Govtrack.us, Text of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development , and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, accessed Oct. 2, 2009
Thomas.gov, H.R. 3288 , accessed Oct. 2, 2009
BarackObama.com, Urban Fact Sheet , accessed Oct. 2, 2009