Losing CDGB Funds: Dakota County, Minn.

The Twin Cities-based Star Tribune reports the impact of the potential loss of community development block grant funds in Minnesota’s Dakota County—funds that have gone to finance neighborhood programs for more than a quarter century there.

The impact could be felt in towns and cities across the country as the president’s budget proposes $300 million in cuts to CDBG. And while the threat to zero out the program is not necessarily new, the Republican-controlled House has set out on a much more aggressive path, worrying localities that have relied on these grants, as reported in the Star Tribune piece:

“Over the years, we’ve come to rely on it quite heavily,” said Jim Hartshorn, community development director for West St. Paul. “It’s a good program, especially in a town like this where there is a lot redevelopment.”

In the 2010 fiscal year, the county received about $1.9 million through CDBG. Most of the funds are used for housing rehabilitation programs. Rehab programs such as the one in West St. Paul help low-income residents get loans to improve their homes. The program in West St. Paul helps give out about 16 loans per year, Hartshorn said.

What does the possible loss of Community Development Block Grants mean in your community? What’s at stake? Comment here, or write us at letters@shelterforce.org.

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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