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Idea of the Day: Community Development Block Grant Program

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Forty years ago, President Gerald Ford signed a law creating one of the hallmark programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD—the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG. Each year, CDBG funds are distributed to state and local governments according to their population size, poverty level, and key housing variables to help communities address a wide range of development needs—from housing to social services.

Since the program’s inception, thousands of urban and rural communities have come to rely on this critical resource, with $144 billion invested in these communities over four decades. Last year alone, CDBG grants were awarded to 7,250 local governments, benefitting more than 9.8 million people across the country. This is particularly significant as CDBG dollars are leveraged by other sources: Between fiscal years 2010 and 2012, every dollar of CDBG grants was leveraged by an additional $4 in other public and private investments.

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This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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