U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that, following their push, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has delivered $4.87 million worth of delayed Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funding to Syracuse. The senators explained that communities throughout Central New York depend on this CDBG funding to support affordable housing, economic development and other critical resources for seniors, low- and middle-income residents and the organizations that serve them. The senators applauded HUD for heeding their call and delivering this delayed money, and said that with it now accessible essential development projects and programs in Syracuse can move forward and provide services to the City’s most in-need residents.
“The Community Development Block Grant is a vital stream of investment that supports local economic development, community revitalization and affordable housing. As we saw in Syracuse, a delay in these funds can cause significant disruptions to the communities they are intended to serve,” said Senator Schumer. “Fortunately, I am pleased to announce that HUD has heeded my call and delivered just under $5 million in owed CDBG funding to Syracuse. I promise to continue fighting to ensure that our Central New York communities expeditiously receive any federal money that they are owed and continue receiving the federal investment needed to thrive.”
“I’m pleased that the federal government has finally delivered on its promise to provide this much-needed Community Development Block Grant investment to the City of Syracuse,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The delay of this funding was completely unacceptable and hurt critical programs that help make sure families and workers in Syracuse have access to affordable housing and good local jobs. The city and local organizations rely on this to help some of our most vulnerable families, which is why I called on HUD to immediately release these payments. I’m glad that HUD heeded my push and I will always fight to make sure our families and communities have the resources they need.”
Schumer and Gillibrand detailed that the CDBG program provides municipalities throughout Upstate New York, like Syracuse, with critical funding for transformative and unique development programs and is essential to the success of their corresponding local economies. The senators explained that they fought relentlessly to secure over $125 million in CDBG funding for communities across New York State and $3.3 billion across the country in the bipartisan, Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill. However, Schumer and Gillibrand added that despite being made aware of its CDBG allocation in May of this year and completing the requisite action plan with HUD shortly thereafter, Syracuse had not been able to access and distribute the funds to the local entities that rely on them in a timely fashion, holding up much-needed development projects and programs. Now, with that funding being made accessible to Syracuse, these essential development projects and programs can move forward once again.
The CDBG funding is allocated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Communities across New York State use the funding to address a wide range of needs and enable local governments to support affordable housing initiatives and expand economic development. Additionally, the CDBG program provides municipalities in New York with the critical funding needed to leverage outside investment in job creation projects. The funds continue to play a critical role in facilitating local economic development in Upstate NY and helping local governments succeed.
A copy of Schumer and Gillibrand’s letter to HUD appears below.
Dear Secretary Carson,
It has come to our attention that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has delayed the release of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funding to localities in New York State and across the nation. State and local governments rely on this funding to support affordable housing, economic development, and to address other important needs of seniors, low- and middle-income residents and the organizations that serve them. A delay in these funds of any length leaves out most vulnerable communities at even greater risk.
The CDBG program provides municipalities in New York with critical funding for transformative and unique development programs and is essential to the success of these local economies. We worked hard in Congress to secure over $125 million in CDBG funding for communities across New York in the bipartisan, Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Despite being made aware of their CDBG allocations in May 2018 and completing the requisite Action Plans with your agency shortly thereafter, many of these communities have yet to access and distribute the funding to the local entities that rely on this federal support. It is unacceptable that this funding has yet to make its way into these communities nearly six months after allocation amounts were established.
The interruption in funding has had major consequences for communities across New York State. In the City of Syracuse, for instance, nearly 20 local organizations and agencies have been waiting for almost $5 million in CDBG funding for Fiscal Year 2018. Many have been forced to either delay programming or take out loans in order to stay afloat. This means that once CDBG funds are finally issued, many of these non-profit organizations will have to pay interest on these loans that is accruing with each passing day, leaving these organizations with less funding than anticipated to continue their work for the community.
We ask that you take the necessary steps to immediately release this funding that has been committed to these communities in New York and across the country.