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CDBG is critical to HUD's overall mission.

President Bush and Secretary Kemp strongly believe the CDBG program is a successful too in HUD's overall mission to expand housing opportunities and create jobs, investment, and other economic opportunities principally for the benefit of low- and moderate-income persons.

Every single day, thousands of jurisdictions are making judgment calls affecting the use of CDBG funds. In my three years as Assistant Secretary, I have come to believe our confidence in local governments has not been misplaced, as the abuses found have been relatively rare and usually correctable without adverse effects on the intended beneficiaries of the CDBG program.

As part of a larger technical assistance strategy which will aid CDBG program participants to use block grants more effectively to help implement the new programs of HOPE, HOME, Tenant Management and Resident Initiatives, we will be contracting out technical assistance on economic development.

About $30 million of technical assistance funds will be made available through a number of separate competitions. The technical assistance resources will be provided to CDBG recipients through both direct grants and the services of technical assistance providers.

The technical assistance projects will address the need to improve the management of local CDBG economic development programs and the effectiveness of the activities funded. Specific areas for which assistance will be provided include: improving the administrative procedures of CDBG recipients for running their economic development programs; increasing CDBG recipients' abilities to manage their economic development loan portfolios, including the use of securitization techniques; designing programs to promote empowerment of low-income people; promoting creative financing techniques for neighborhood economic development programs; increasing the involvement of the private sector; suggesting self-employment programs for residents of low-income neighborhoods and public housing; and, addressing the particular economic development needs of Indian tribes and rural communities along the southwest border of the United States.

On March 6, 1992, I issued policy guidance on CDBG economic development activities to HUD Field Staff and to our grantees. The content of this guidance was developed, in large part, to address patterns of deficiencies in grantee performance, gaps on HUD policy guidance, and abuses noted in HUD monitoring, recent Inspector General audits and the hearing held by this subcommittee.

In the memorandum I have outlined the steps to be taken by grantees as a prerequisite to providing CDBG funds to for-profit entities for economic development. The memo also lays out minimum documentation requirements to demonstrate that CDBG funded economic development activities truly benefit low-and moderate-income persons. Guidance designed to enhance HUD monitoring and enforcement requirements for CDBG economic development is provided as well. Finally, the memo outlines my commitment to implement a series of paperwork reduction recommendations developed by local officials over the past year.
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Title Annotation:Special Report: Building Blocks for America; Community Development Block Grant program
Author:Kondratas, Anna
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Apr 6, 1992
Previous Article:Join in the celebration for America's communities.
Next Article:Three cities win Community Development Award.

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