Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-17-2005

Abstract

Affordable housing for low- and moderate-income earners has become the premier issue at the forefront of the community development debate. Throughout the last century, immigration, urbanization, suburbanization, gentrification and re-urbanization have left low- and moderate-income earners very few options in terms of affordable housing, with the problem growing increasingly worse. Today, rapidly changing housing markets, the reemergence of downtown as the place to live, increased labor costs and the present presidential administration’s desire to drastically scale back the funding of community development projects has led to what many call an affordable housing crisis. Municipalities struggle to find the funds to house at least a portion of those residents in need while states and municipalities alike now face the prospect of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) being eliminated under President Bush’s proposed budget cuts for 2006. The budget proposal recommends the compression of the current CDBG program with 17 other direct grant programs into a proposed Strengthening America’s Communities Initiative, resulting in a total federal budget available to community development activities nationwide of $3.71 billion, $1.59 billion less than the current CDBG budget alone (Ford 2005). Though these budget cuts have met stiff opposition by members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle, the dialogue of the program’s elimination has begun and will arguably remain on the table for years to come as proponents of these budget cuts continue to see CDBG as superfluous spending.

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