WHEREAS, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was signed into law by President Gerald Ford as the centerpiece of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974; and

WHEREAS, the primary objective of the program is the development of viable communities by providing decent housing and suitable living environments, and expanding economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons; and

WHEREAS, the CDBG program has considerable flexibility to allow urban, suburban, and rural communities to carry out a broad range of activities that are tailored to their unique affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization needs; and

WHEREAS, throughout its 30-year history, the CDBG program has been a partnership among all levels of government, the business community, and the nonprofit sector to carry out activities that improve the lives and neighborhoods of low- and moderate-income families; and

WHEREAS, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in FY 2004 CDBG funds were used for thousands of activities, assisting over 23 million persons and families through such activities as expanding homeownership, eliminating slums and blighting influences, improving infrastructure, and creating job opportunities; and

WHEREAS, citing duplication with other economic development programs, the President’s FY 2006 budget completely eliminated CDBG and 17 other programs, to be replaced by a new “Strengthening America’s Communities Initiative,” to be administered by the Department of Commerce, at a funding level $2.2 billion below the combined funding level for all 18 programs in FY 2005; and

WHEREAS, strong bipartisan support for the FY 2006 Budget Resolution passed by Congress opposes the move of CDBG to the Commerce Department and calls for full funding of the program;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors hereby reaffirms its strong support for preservation of the Community Development Block Grant program at HUD and its strong support for maintaining its funding level at $4.7 billion, the same level appropriated in FY 2005; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors hereby expresses its strong opposition to the Administration’s “Strengthening America’s Communities Initiative.”

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352