State and local elected leaders from both parties have come out against President Trump’s proposal to slash funding to a federal program that gives Dayton and other Ohio communities millions of dollars each year for projects including street paving, demolition, home repairs and housing assistance.
Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint calls for eliminating Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, which his administration says will save the federal government $3 billion and rid it of an ineffective program.
The White House also has proposed reducing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s fiscal year 2017 budget by $1.3 billion, which includes cutting the CDBG in half, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Dayton has received more than $57 million in CDBG funds since 2007, which the city uses to knock down blighted properties, resurface residential streets and help secure and upgrade housing for the homeless, the elderly, veterans and low-income families.
“It’s one of the most effective use of federal dollars,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who strongly opposes cuts to the program.
Last month, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, co-sponsored a letter urging a Congressional subcommittee to provide at least $3.3 billion in funding for the CDBG program in fiscal year 2018.
Other co-sponsors included U.S. Reps. Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Twp., Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights, and Lou Barletta, R-Pa.
In mid-March, Trump unveiled a 2018 budget blueprint that calls for increasing defense spending by $54 billion, which would be offset by funding reductions for other programs.
“We are going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to the people,” Trump wrote.
Trump proposes pulling all funding for the CDBG program, which has provided more than $150 billion to U.S. communities since its inception in 1974.
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But Dayton officials, elected leaders and housing advocacy groups say eliminating the program would be a mistake that would hurt low-income residents and neighborhoods.
“It’s so useful in communities and makes such a difference in communities,” Whaley said.