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Economy

Why It Would Be a Mistake to Cut This HUD Program

A new Urban Institute report corrects the record on the benefits and flaws of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who supports the President's proposal to kill CDBG, answers questions at his confirmation hearing.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who supports the President's proposal to kill CDBG, answers questions at his confirmation hearing.Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The Trump administration’s proposed budget slashes funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by roughly 13 percent. A chunk of that comes from eliminating the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), currently worth $3 billion. Among other things, it helps fund local infrastructure, community revitalization projects, affordable housing, education initiatives like head-start, and programs like Meals on Wheels. According to the administration, CDBG “is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results.”

But a new brief by Urban Institute’s Brett Theodos, Christina Plerhoples Stacy, and Helen Ho, takes a closer look at this program, and comes to a different conclusion: