PASCRELL LEADS EFFORT TO INCREASE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM FUNDING
Determined to invest more federal resources in New Jersey communities, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. successfully led an effort to increase funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. On June 14, 2006, the House of Representatives voted for a massive increase in the funding level for the CDBG program. While CDBG received $3.7 billion in 2006, the bill passed by the House this week included $4.2 billion for CDBG in fiscal year 2007, the level of funding requested in a letter authored by Rep. Pascrell, and sent with the bipartisan support of 115 members of Congress. This was far above the mere $3 billion requested by President Bush.
"Community Development Block Grants are a cost efficient and effective resource in revitalizing neighborhoods," stated Pascrell. "As a former mayor, I know first hand the tremendous value the CDBG program adds to our cities. I have seen it create jobs, attract private investment, and reinvigorate communities throughout Passaic and Essex Counties. This program won't be neglected in Congress on my watch."
Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at the Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. For example, it assists with homeownership, housing rehabilitation, public improvements, public services, and economic development projects. Every dollar of the CDBG program invested in communities is leveraged by three dollars in private funding. Annual grants are based on a formula basis and provide to local governments and States.
Pascrell, a longtime ardent supporter of the CDBG program, sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee on March 16, 2006 requesting that the program be funded at a level of $4.3 billion, a notable increase over the insufficient Bush budget proposal of $3 billion. On July 14, 2006 the House voted to approve $4.2 billion in CDBG funding. This important funding bill will now be considered in the Senate.
"I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass an equally strong level of CDBG funding. Robust CDBG program will continue the reinvigoration of New Jersey's urban and suburban landscape."