BVM August, 2016 - page 76

76 Business View Magazine - August 2016
there weren’t budget caps in place,” she adds, rue-
fully. “For the future, it depends on who’s elected to
Congress from year to year. In terms of the homeless
programs – they enjoy very wide support on the Hill,
so we usually do not have to advocate very much for
those; they usually get an increase, every year.”
While the NCDA helps to work the levers of Congress,
the organization’s leadership also liaises with the Ex-
ecutive branch of the federal government, via its di-
rect access to senior officials at HUD’s Washington
D.C. headquarters. “It’s not just about the budget,”
says Look, “it’s also about what the federal govern-
ment does with the program and the various regula-
tions they impose or change over time. So, at our con-
ferences, we can ask them directly: ‘What does this
regulation mean; how do you want us to implement
it?’ And sometimes, the discussion veers towards: ‘Are
you seriously asking us to do this, because it creates
additional regulatory burdens on us, and we’ll need to
spend more time and money?’
Both Watson and Look are intent on increasing the
NCDA’s membership in order to extend its educa-
tional outreach, while increasing its political strength.
“We’ve made an effort, this year, to reach out to those
communities that are not members, by both email
and direct mail, and through contacts with their fel-
low peers in their areas,” Watson says. Look reports
that the Association also obtained a master list from
HUD of all jurisdictions across the country that receive
CDGB funding. “And we compared that with our current
membership and then targeted those who weren’t on
our membership list,” he says.
The NCDA has several different membership tiers: Its
regular members, known as Entitlement Members,
are those cities and counties which receive an annual
CDBG formula grant and/or an annual HOME Program
formula grant from the U.S. Department of Housing
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