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 has delivered $13,677,706 million worth of delayed Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds to the City of Buffalo. The senators explained that the City of Buffalo depends 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 with it now accessible essential development projects and programs in Buffalo can move forward and provide services to Western New York’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. Without this non-replaceable funding, many local job-creating development projects that helped turn around Western New York communities might not be here today. It was so important to ensure that the City of Buffalo received its delayed CDBG allocation immediately,” said Senator Schumer. “Fortunately, I am pleased to announce that HUD has heeded my call and delivered upwards of $13 million in owed CDBG funding to the City of Buffalo. I promise to continue fighting to ensure that our Western 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 these much-needed Community Development Block Grant investments to the City of Buffalo,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The delay of this funding was completely unacceptable. These types of delays can hurt critical programs that help make sure families and workers in Buffalo have access to affordable housing and good local jobs. The city and local organizations rely on this funding 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 Buffalo, 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 plans with HUD shortly thereafter, Buffalo had not been able to access and distribute the funds to the local entities that rely on them, holding up much-needed development projects and programs and causing agencies to dip into reserves to cover the costs. Now, with that funding being made accessible to Buffalo, these 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 the senator’s original 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 other important resources to seniors, low- and middle-income residents and the organizations that serve them, and a delay in these funds of any length leaves our 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 plan’s with your agency shortly thereafter, many of these communities have yet to access and distribute the funding to the local entities that rely on them. It is unacceptable that this funding has yet to make its way into these communities nearly six months after allocation amounts were established.
This interruption in funding has had major consequences for communities across New York State, including the Town of Tonawanda and City of Buffalo. In Buffalo, for instance, nearly 20 local organizations and agencies have been waiting for $13,677,706 in CDBG funding for Fiscal Year 2018.
We ask that you take the necessary steps to make this funding promised to these communities in New York and across the country available immediately.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter and I look forward to your response.