Community Services Block Grants (Csbg)

Community Services Block Grants (Csbg) : Background and Funding

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Description

Community Services Block Grants (CSBG) provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. Smaller related programs-Community Economic Development (CED), Rural Community Facilities (RCF), and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)-also support anti-poverty efforts. CSBG and some of these related activities trace their roots to the War on Poverty, launched more than 50 years ago in 1964. Today, they are administered at the federal level by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CSBG and related activities are funded through the end of FY2015 under an omnibus appropriations law (P.L. 113-235), enacted just prior to the end of the 113th Congress. The measure provides $729 million for CSBG and related activities, almost identical to FY2014 levels (P.L. 113-76) and nearly twice the amount requested by the Obama Administration. Final FY2014 funding was an increase from the post-sequestration level of $687 million provided in FY2013 under P.L. 113-6. Final FY2015 funding levels, by program, are $674 million for the block grant, $30 million for CED, $6.5 million for RCF, and $19 million for IDAs. In his FY2015 budget, submitted to Congress in March 2014, President Obama requested $350 million for the block grant, $19 million for IDAs, and zero for the other related activities. The Administration made the same request for the block grant in each of the last three years, and Congress rejected the proposal each time. Although the Administration requested no funding for the CED program, it proposed to continue funding the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (which has been partially financed with CED funds) through a Treasury Department program. The White House previously proposed eliminating CED and RCF, but Congress has continued to provide funding for both activities. In previous budgets, the Administration has signaled its intent to move CSBG toward a competitive program, in which states would direct funds toward local agencies that meet certain standards, rather than via the current mandatory pass-through to all local "eligible entities." In its FY2015 budget request, the Administration also proposed to allow states to reserve up to 10% of their allotments for eligible entities that demonstrate "innovation and best practices." The Community Services Block Grant Act was last reauthorized in 1998 by P.L. 105-285. The authorization of appropriations for CSBG and most related programs expired in FY2003, although Congress has continued funding through annual appropriations. Legislation was introduced during the 113th Congress-with bipartisan co-sponsorship-to amend and reauthorize the act through FY2023 (H.R. 3854). Among other things, the proposal would have required performance measures at the federal, state, and local level; would have required each state to use part of its block grant for a Community Action Innovations Program; and would have allowed two or more local agencies to merge, subject to state approval, and potentially be eligible for Merger Incentive Funds. The National Association for State Community Services Programs conducts an annual survey of states on the activities and expenditures of the nationwide network of more than 1,000 CSBG grantees. According to the most recent survey, the network served almost 16 million people in nearly 7 million low-income families in FY2013. States reported that the network spent $13.3 billion of federal, state, local, and private resources, including almost $600 million in federal CSBG funds and almost $9 billion from other federal programs.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 32 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 2.03mm | 136.08g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507544448
  • 9781507544440