The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a motion, sponsored by Board Chair Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, declaring April 5 through 9 “National Community Development Week.”
National Community Development Week is the county’s opportunity to commemorate the longstanding accomplishments of the federally funded Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Programs.
This year marks the 35th year of this national effort to actively promote awareness, education, and advocacy for these much-needed programs.
The county is taking this opportunity to celebrate National Community Development Week and to commemorate the continued successes of the CDBG and HOME programs. These programs significantly impact Los Angeles County residents, especially during crises, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
The county’s CDBG program, administered by the Los Angeles County Development Authority, is the largest among urban counties in the nation, serving more than 1 million people in 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 97% of allocated funds to benefit low- or moderate-income persons, 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.
Additionally, in 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act resulted in $5 billion in additional CDBG funds, referred to as CDBG-CV funds, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The LACDA has utilized CDBG-CV to assist residents and businesses affected by the pandemic. Once CDBG-CV funds are fully exhausted, it is estimated that 4,050 seniors will be served through meals programs, 634 businesses will be assisted with grants and loans, and 504 households received rental assistance.
The HOME program promotes and facilitates affordable and special needs housing to County residents living in its unincorporated areas and the 46 participating cities. Since the HOME program’s inception in 1992, the LACDA has overseen the administration of more than $312 million in HOME funds into the county’s housing market. The HOME program’s added benefit is its ability to leverage local funding. For example, more than $900 million has been leveraged with HOME funds since 1992 to develop affordable rental housing.
Emilio Salas, LACDA Executive Director, said, “This past year was a difficult time for all, but thanks to CDBG and HOME, we provided assistance to renters and property owners. We created programs to help businesses stay afloat and adapt to the health orders. We continued to fund new affordable housing developments, so we can make sure all county residents have a place to call home. CDBG and HOME help us invest in the community and empower residents and businesses.”
While these programs’ accomplishments are far-reaching and severely needed, past national budget cuts have overshadowed their merits. Thankfully, through continued aggressive advocacy efforts, the CDBG Program for Fiscal Year 2021, is to receive $3.45 billion, which is $50 million more than last year. The HOME Program will not experience a funding cut and will receive $1.35 billion in FY 2021, which is the same as FY 2020.
More information on the CDBG, HOME, and CDBG-CV Programs is available at lacda.org or by calling 626-586-1760.