BVM August, 2016 - page 75

Business View Magazine - August 2016 75
Coalition, we do visits to members of Congress to edu-
cate them about the programs and about the benefits
of the programs in their communities.” According to
HUD’s own numbers, there are currently 1209 gen-
eral units of local and state governments that receive
CDBG grants, annually.
But since all CDBG programs are subject to Congress’s
ever-changing budgetary priorities, the NCDA also ac-
tively advocates for its members, as well as its part-
ner organizations, in an effort to keep the money flow-
ing into the communities across America that need
it most. Indeed, Watson says that the Coalition was
originally formed several years ago when Congress
was in a particularly parsimonious mood. “There was
a threat to the program at that time, on the Hill,” she
remembers. “The House had proposed that it be cut in
half, and so we felt that we needed to have more of a
national voice for the program.”
Today, Watson says that while getting the necessary
funding allocations is still a challenge, lately, Congress
has been somewhat less likely to propose any draco-
nian cuts. “In terms of our programs, we’re fortunate
in that they enjoy bipartisan support on the Hill,” she
begins. “Unfortunately, the problem is, it’s a very tight
budget that Congress works with from year to year, and
has been so ever since the enactment of the Budget
Control Act of 2011, which puts caps on funding every
year. We’ve been very good at ensuring that CDBG is
level-funded from year to year, even within these caps.
We did get some relief this past fiscal year – the caps
were increased a bit; but still not enough to increase
our programs. I think we would fare much better if
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