February 18, 2021

Wyden Calls on Biden Administration to Fully Fund Community Development Block Grant Program

Wyden: “These funds provide a lifeline for community programs…that sustain us through the tough times”

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today called on the Biden administration to prioritize funding in its upcoming budget proposal for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which funds local initiatives that support jobs, housing, infrastructure, and public services for millions of Americans.

“The Community Development Block Grant has proven to be a tried-and-true jobs generator and, now more than ever, we must get these funds out to the communities in Oregon and nationwide that need it most,” Wyden said. “Along with infrastructure and business investments, these funds provide a lifeline for community programs like Meals on Wheels, senior services, free health clinics, and after-school programs for low-income youth—the services that sustain us through the tough times.”

The Trump administration repeatedly tried to eliminate the CDBG program, but in December, Congress invested $3.475 billion for this program in Fiscal Year 2021, an increase over the previous year. Congress has also provided additional CDBG funds last year as communities worked to respond to the spread of COVID-19.

In 2020, Oregon has mobilized $3.2 million in CDBG grants for eight city and county projects, such as health, safety, and accessibility repairs to low-income homes in both Polk and Josephine counties, as well as the cities of Gold Beach, Lebanon, Nyssa and The Dalles. CDBG funds will build two 250,000-gallon water reservoirs in the city of Tillamook and extend sewer services to 63 homes in the city of Umatilla.

For more than 40 years, the CDBG program has invested more than $149 billion in communities across the country and helped more than 133 million Americans. The CDBG program has created or retained more than 100,000 jobs over the past five years, and last year provided public service benefits such as substance abuse services, child care, senior citizen care, and services for the disabled to more than 9 million people.

The letter was also signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Chris Coons, D-Del., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

The full letter is available here.