[Hpn] CDBG and Housing - Information Bulletin #65

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Mon, 3 May 2004 18:29:54 -0400


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Steve Gold SteveGoldADA@cs.com
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004
Subject: CDBG and Housing - Information Bulletin #65


 CDBG and Housing - Information Bulletin #65, 5/04

 Nationally, about $3.5 billion dollars were spent nationally under HUDS's
federal Community  Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in each of the
past
three fiscal years (01, 02 and 03).  A breakdown of the $3.5 billion shows:

Nearly $1 billion went each year for "housing;"
a little less than $1 billion went for "public improvements"
(including street improvements, sidewalks and removal of architectural
barriers); and another $500 million went for "public services" (including
services
for the disabled, rental housing subsidies, and security deposits).

 A number of people have asked how their local and State officials have
ACTUALLY SPENT the CDBG funds that your communities received -- bshow me
where the money went.'

 HUD has available the actual expenditures for each of FY 01 and FY 02 by
grantee (either YOUR local and/or State housing offices) throughout the
country.  This information is very important for disability advocates for a
number of reasons:

 1.  If CDBG funds were used for construction and/or rehabilitation of
housing(whether single-unit or multi-unit and whether privately or publicly
owned - it does not matter), there MUST be AT LEAST 5% accessible units and
they
MUST accept section 8 vouchers OR be affordable to SSI recipients.  You
should
know where these houses are located and check them out.  They probably are
listed in your Consolidated Plans.

2.  If the "public improvement" and/or "public services" funds were used
for streets and sidewalks, they better be fully accessible.  Same for every
type of "public improvement."

3.  If the CDBG funds did not go for disability issues, you should
inquire about it and find out why they did not.

4.  Getting this information for the past few years, gives you a lot of
ammunition in your fight this and next year.  If the disability community
was
shortchanged in the past, force your officials to make it up.  Remember they
must have Consolidated Plans for the allocation of CDBG funds, and they must
have two public hearings before these Plans can be approved.

Here is how to find out how YOUR CDBG funds were actually expended. Step # 1
- go to
http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/budget/disbursementreports/index.cfm
or shorter link

http://makeashorterlink.com/?X43B13338

Step # 2 at the bottom of that page is a map; click on
your state.  Step # 3-  then click on your city.  A "Use of CDBG funds by
[the
name of your city]" will appear. Step #4 - there are two separate years in
PDF format.  These are actual disbursements.  Under the Activity Group, you
will find "HR" for housing, "PI" for public improvements, and "PS" for
public
services.

The expenditure of CDBG funds is discretionary and your local housing
professionals and politicians could expend 100% of the CDBG funds on
"accessible, affordable, integrated" housing  -- IF you are at the table and
you are
applying sufficient pressure.  They could use these funds to make your
cities
and counties a model for the disability community b IF the disability
community
made CDBG funds a disability issue.

 Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues

Back issues of other Information Bulletins are available online at
http://www.stevegoldada.com
with a searchable Archive at this site.

 --
Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues

 Back issues of other Information Bulletins are available online at
http://www.stevegoldada.com