Wednesday, June 29, 2011

City CDBG Reform Bills Fail in Committee

A Pittsburgh Council committee has voted down a bill that would have changed the way Council distributes federal Community Development Block Grants.

Instead of divvying the funding evenly among the nine Council Districts, the bills called for each District to receive an amount that reflected its number of CDBG-eligible blocks.

Councilman Bill Peduto says he rejected the legislation because it amounts to less than $1 million of the total $18 million annual package of Pittsburgh’s CDBG funds.

“It’s sort of like that New York card game, where… ‘Watch this hand! Watch this hand! Ignore this one over here.’ Well, the ‘hand over here’ is the one that is supplying major dollars to private developers and others, while we’re debating over how we give $1500 to neighborhood groups and nonprofit organizations that help the poor,” says Peduto.

Councilman Doug Shields says he hasn’t heard any complaint about Pittsburgh’s CDBG process from the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development, the agency that distributes the grants.

Councilman Ricky Burgess authored the bills, and has been the catalyst behind the CDBG debate of the past year. He and Councilman Daniel Lavelle were the only members to vote for the package.

No comments: