Local community development funds face cuts in proposed Trump budget

3 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Monday, April 24 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT April 24, 2017 in News
By: Nora Faris, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed spending plan for 2018 significantly reduces funding for a range of executive departments, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Education. Proponents say this "skinny budget" will rein in excessive government spending.

However, the skinny budget's cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, namely its Community Development Block Grant program, could starve development organizations in Columbia and around the country of critical operating funds.

Since 1974, the Community Development Block Grant program has provided funding for urban and community development initiatives administered by state and local governments. 

CDBG funds support housing rehabilitation, small business development and senior services like some Meals on Wheels programs.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, every dollar of CDBG funding leverages an additional $3.85. Since 2005, CDBG programs have created or retained nearly 400,000 jobs for low- and middle-income individuals. An estimated 133 million people have benefited from other CDBG-funded programs, including senior services, local food banks and employment training centers.

Job Point, a local employment training center, utilizes CDBG funds to provide scholarships for individuals to attend job training and vocational courses.

The organization provides training, education and placement services for unemployed or underemployed individuals; individuals with social, economic, legal or educational disadvantages; individuals with physical or mental health conditions; and at-risk youth.

Steve Smith, president and CEO of Job Point, said the organization's services make a significant community impact.

"The people that we placed in jobs last year, if you annualize their employment salaries, they made more last year than Job Point's operating budget," Smith said.

In fiscal year 2016, Job Point served 418 people with job training, placement and education services. The average hourly wage for individuals who found employment through Job Point was $10.27.

Smith said if the block grant program is eliminated, the government should look for alternative ways to fund community development projects.

"We understand that there will be changes, but we're asking that our representatives and senators still continue to fund us, even if it's not through the block grant programs," Smith said. "It doesn't matter so much whether the funding comes from the Department of Labor or HUD or which part of the federal budget, as long as we're able to secure funds somehow."

Block grants also contribute significantly to regional economic and infrastructure development.

On April 20, the Boone County Commission unanimously approved the creation of a CDBG application for American Outdoor Brands, a hunting and outdoor recreation company with plans to build a distribution center in Boone County.

The county plans to ask for nearly $2 million in CDBG funding to improve roads and spur development near the planned construction site at Route Z north of I-70.

Ed Siegmund, executive director of the Mid-MO Regional Planning Commission, said to be eligible for the block grant funds, the American Outdoor Brands facility is required to create 100 jobs and must fill at least 51 of those jobs with low- or moderate-income individuals.

The American Outdoor Brands facility is expected to create nearly 150 jobs within its first three years of operation.

Without opportunities to pursue CDBG funding, Boone County could lose out on development projects like this one that promise to attract businesses and spur job growth.

Block grant funds, although administered largely by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, aren't just for urban communities.

"Without the block grant funds, it would be extremely challenging or impossible for the small communities to meet all the requirements for wastewater treatment and other infrastructure needs," Siegmund said. "Block grants are a vital program for rural communities, and that's kind of a forgotten component."

Trump's proposed budget is not final, but if Congress approves the spending cut for fiscal year 2018, the block grant program could be eliminated.

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
FERRELVIEW (AP) — A member of a small western Missouri town's governing board is leading an effort to oust the... More >>
15 minutes ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 10:20:36 AM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
CUBA (AP) — Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is holding another round of town halls in rural, Republican strongholds as... More >>
39 minutes ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 9:56:21 AM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – In preparation for a large number of visitors to Missouri for Monday's solar eclipse, the State Emergency... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 11:49:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The incoming freshmen at Blair Oaks High School will become the first class to not have a... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 8:59:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Angela Speck, the director of astronomy at the University of Missouri, gave a presentation titled, "Doing Science in... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:36:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
PIKE COUNTY, Mo. - A man was charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action after Alexander Koch died... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - With mid-Missouri preparing for the upcoming eclipse on Monday, Laws Observatory played host to an event made to... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:18:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former school bus driver in eastern Missouri has been sentenced to 20 years in prison... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:58:58 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the eclipse nearly here, crews in Jefferson City were busy preparing for festivities Saturday. On... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in Eclipse Planning
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Confederate memorial in Kansas City was vandalized with graffiti overnight. Local media show someone... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 12:41:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's child abuse hotline now accepts out-of-state calls. First lady Sheena Greitens said she learned... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 11:06:17 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri will host and sponsor numerous events this weekend leading up to Monday’s total solar... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:58:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
CHAFFEE (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing murder conspiracy charges for allegedly trying to hire a hit man... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:55:54 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — In towns and cities along the path of the solar eclipse, some school districts are seizing... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:47:03 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters will be hitting the street with their boots in their hands. Columbia Fire Department will... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 5:00:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Helias Catholic High School won’t have to borrow Jefferson City High School’s stadium anymore after it opened... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:18:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri State Parks officials say they can't verify that solar eclipse glasses the agency sold meet... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Events
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for a Missouri man convicted of killing a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter 19 years... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:30:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
11am 83°
12pm 86°
1pm 88°
2pm 90°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00a
Give
10:30a
Heart of a Champion with Lauren Thompson
11:00a
Wild About Animals
10:00a
Discover the Truth
10:30a
In Search of the Lord's Way
11:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Gymnastics
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
6:00p
Cliffhanger
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld