The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) Tuesday to receive and administer the County’s initial allocation of $13.6 million in Community Development Block Grant Program Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds, as well as future allocations, in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Nationally, $5 billion in CDBG-CV funds will be distributed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, resulting from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress and signed by the President on March 27, 2020. In Los Angeles County, LACDA staff are currently working with partner agencies to develop CDBG-CV activities, which will assist residents with limited means who have been impacted by COVID-19, including temporary rental assistance, grab-and-go/delivery meal programs, business assistance to retain employees that are low- and moderate-income, and support of other COVID-19 response services.
The Board approved this funding during National Community Development Week, which is the County’s opportunity to commemorate the longstanding accomplishments of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Programs. This year marks the 34th year of this national effort to actively promote awareness, education, and advocacy for these crucial programs.
Emilio Salas, LACDA Acting Executive Director, said, “As we commemorate National Community Development Week, we are reminded how the CDBG Program has demonstrated time and again its value to Los Angeles County. This additional infusion of funding will have a great impact to the work the County and our partners are doing to respond to COVID-19.”
The LACDA administers the largest Urban County CDBG Program in the nation, serving over a million residents in the County’s unincorporated areas and an additional 1.4 million living in 48 participating cities.
The Program’s success is in its flexibility, allowing local governments to directly address community needs, targeting about 96% of allocated funds to benefit persons with limited means, through activities which include: housing rehabilitation; public services for groups such as seniors, youth, and persons experiencing homelessness; economic development activities; and making public facilities, housing, and sidewalks accessible for persons with disabilities.
Now more than ever, the County is taking this opportunity to commemorate National Community Development Week to not only acknowledge the continued successes of the CDBG and HOME Programs and bring awareness to their impact on Los Angeles County residents, but also to highlight how important the CDBG Program is to the County in responding and recovering from crises. In the past, CDBG funds have helped County residents recover from other disasters or emergencies, such as the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the 2008 Great Recession.
While the accomplishments from the CDBG Program are far-reaching and severely needed, past national budget cuts have overshadowed their merits. Through aggressive advocacy efforts this year, the CDBG Program, nationally, is to receive $3.4 billion for Fiscal Year 2020, which is $100 million more than last year. And, the HOME Program will receive $1.35 billion in FY 2020, which is also a $100 million increase.
Lastly, as funding for these federal programs rely on Census data, the County and the LACDA encourage all County residents to complete the 2020 Census and be counted. In addition to mailing it in, residents can complete it online this year at my2020census.gov. It is imperative that the County has an accurate count to maximize the receipt of federal resources.
For more information about the LACDA’s programs and the impact from COVID-19, please visit lacda.org. All media may contact Elisa Vásquez, LACDA Public Information Officer, at (626) 586-1762.