(Photo from Austin’s Blackland Community Development Corporation Facebook page)
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is one of the longest-running programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. When it works well, it has the potential to address poverty and blight and revitalize communities in ways that reflect the priorities of the people who live there. But sometimes, too many political interests and not enough oversight plague the effectiveness of the program.
In episode 8 of our podcast, A Little Louder, Texas Housers co-directors John Henneberger and Karen Paup discuss the original goals of CDBG and how the program has changed over time. They explain how a shrinking CDBG budget and the increasing number of jurisdictions receiving the funds means there is less attention and enforcement of the program’s key requirements and tracking of the intended goals.
Paup and Henneberger discuss what all this means for advocates and how local housing nonprofits, community leaders and residents of modest means can help steer CDBG back on track to its original goals to serve low-income communities.