Local community development funds face cuts in proposed Trump budget

5 months 4 weeks 9 hours 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
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri kicked off its 106th Homecoming game day early Saturday morning with a parade full... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:38:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Fight for the First documentary was shown at the Missouri theatre for donors and students Friday. The film... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from the last week of the high school football season. Final scores will be in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:27:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Nigerian citizen living in St. Louis has been sentenced to six and a half years... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - #MeToo started as a tweet and turned into an international discussion on sexual harassment. Columbia resident Macy... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is attracting attention for its innovation in collegiate eSports. From having the first varsity collegiate all-woman eSports... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:45:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
MEXICO – A former teacher pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of sexual contact with a student. Robert Cortez,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:04:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - Namaste Health Care alerted 1,600 patients to a security breach that happened the weekend of Aug. 12-13. A... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin announced that October 20 th would be recognized every year as Buckle... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:42:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, city officials... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Volunteers from the city and community spent the day picking up litter, clearing branches and cleaning sidewalks in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 1:55:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he sold heroin in the hospital maternity ward... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 1:48:59 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A jazz museum that's plagued by operating losses and bounced checks to musicians could be headed... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 12:39:06 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Relatives of man who died at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility are alleging that a fungus infected... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 10:55:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A 21-year-old man faces a handful of charges for allegedly stealing from a church and also stealing... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 10:47:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Two felons from Columbia were charged in federal court with illegally having guns and ammunition. Ladame Smith... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 10:19:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge is hearing from police and St. Louis protesters before deciding whether to grant... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 9:57:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A man received life-threatening injuries from an apartment fire early Friday morning. Columbia firefighters arrived at 18... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 9:13:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
2am 67°
3am 63°
4am 60°
5am 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:30a
Paid Program
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program
1:30a
Paid Program
2:00a
Elementary
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
7:00p
Twisted
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy