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Gonzalez introduces bill reauthorizing CDBG funding.

Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-Tex.) has introduced a housing reauthorization bill that increases funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and provides relief from matching requirements for communities experiencing fiscal distress.

The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 is a one year reauthorization bill that calls for CDBG to receive $4 billion, which is $400 million above its 1992 allocation. HOME, the state local housing block grant that was created by the enactment of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, is authorized at $1.5 billion for 1993 which is the same amount it received in 1992.

The bill also includes a flat 10 percent match requirement for all activities under the HOME program. Currently, the HOME program requires participating jurisdictions (PJs) to provide a match as a condition to receiving HOME funds. Due to the recession last year, Congress granted PJs a one-year waiver of the match requirement. The bill also allows cash obtained from public debt financing and public bond issuances as an eligible match.

A PJ may receive a waiver from the match requirement if it meets three of the following five distress factors:

* An unemployment rate that is equal to or greater than 150 percent of the average national unemployment rate.

* A growth rate in the labor force that is 75 percent of the growth rate in the national labor force for two years prior to the start of the ensuing fiscal year.

* The ratio of the tax revenue collected per capita in the jurisdiction to the per capita income in the jurisdiction must be equal to or greater than 150 percent of the ratio for all participating jurisdictions

* The average poverty rate must be equal to or greater than 125 percent of the national average.

* The average per capita income must be less than 75 the national average.

If a participating jurisdiction shows that its poverty rate is 150 percent the national average or that its per capita income is 50 percent of the national average, then a waiver will be granted.

The bill eliminates the bias against new construction which will allow PJs to tailor HOME funds to meet local needs.

The House is expected to mark up the reauthorization bill May 12. The Senate is expected to mark up its version of a reauthorization bill (see Nation's Cities Weekly, April 20, 1992) on May 20.
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Title Annotation:Henry B. Gonzalez; Community Development Block Grant Program
Author:Barreto, Julio
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:May 11, 1992
Words:396
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