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Brewster Urges Congress to Support Community Development Grant
On July 19, 2013
Harrisburg, July 19, 2013 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) today urged Congress to support a program that provides federal funds to municipalities for housing development projects, businesses expansion and infrastructure improvements.
“Funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has been essential to areas across Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years,” Brewster said. “To take it away now would be devastating.”
The House of Representatives recently approved cutting the program’s budget by 47 percent, from $3.15 billion to $1.67 billion, and this is not the first time the CDBG program’s funding has been slashed in recent years.
Brewster said he applauds and supports Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s efforts to prevent the cuts.
“Hundreds of communities in Pennsylvania receive funds from this program, including many in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties,” Brewster said. “The grant returns taxpayer money to local economies, and without it, many municipalities wouldn’t be able to make ends meet.”
CDBG program funds are directed to municipalities so they can decide on a local level how to spend the money within the program guidelines.
“These funds are not gifts to the municipalities,” Brewster said. “The citizens are getting a portion of their taxes back in the form of these grants, and cutting the program would have catastrophic consequences across the entire state of Pennsylvania.”