Austin has been recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors as one of 100 U.S. cities that effectively use federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for long-term housing and community infrastructure investments for its citizens.
The Conference of Mayors report, CDBG Works: How Mayors Put CDBG to Work, illustrates real life examples of how CDBG funds, distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, serve as a key resource for more than 7,000 communities nationwide to support housing investments, public infrastructure improvements, enhanced public safety services, employment training, and services for seniors, youth and those with disabilities.
Austin’s CDBG funding is administered through the city’s Department of Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) to provide for affordable housing development, homeless/special needs services, renter assistance, homeowner assistance, neighborhood/commercial revitalization, and small business aid. In Fiscal Year 2015-16 alone, $7.3 million in CDBG funding helped provide more than 1,600 services with emergency home repairs, construction of affordable housing for low-income families and persons with disabilities, and promote economic opportunity across the city.
How Mayors Put CDBG to Work was released just before the National Housing Week of Action, July 22-29. Events across the nation during this week highlight the importance of affordable housing in local communities. Over 350 mayors have signed letters to the White House and Congressional leaders outlining the accomplishments of CDBG over the years—despite continued federal funding cuts—and to support continued CDBG funding, which is proposed to be eliminated from the Fiscal Year 2018-19 federal budget.
Austin’s activities will include a press conference and rally at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 22, in the plaza in front of Austin City Hall, 301 W. 2nd Street (between Guadalupe and Lavaca), with invited guests Mayor Steve Adler and U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett. They will be joined by organizations including Austin Homes/Austin Voices, Foundation Communities, ADAPT of Texas, Accessible Housing Austin!, Austin Habitat for Humanity, Community Now!, Neighbors United for Progress, Mary Lee Communities, the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations, Texas Low Income Housing Information Services, and Housing Works Austin.
Some of the Austin developments made possible by CDBG funds include:
The African-American Cultural and Heritage Facility on East 11th Street, which anchors the African-American Heritage District and is home to a visitor’s bureau, office and rehearsal space for the Pro Arts Collective, Inc. and the Capital City African-American Chamber of Commerce.
The Austin Children’s Shelter, which received a $1 million grant to provide supportive services and safe housing for boys and girls ages 8-17 who have suffered abuse and neglect.
Capitol Studios, which received funding to create a 135-unit efficiency affordable apartment community for single adults in downtown.
The Ivy Condos Stabilization Project, which received a grant of $889,848 to build 18 fully accessible condominium units on Manchaca Road for low-income persons with disabilities.
For more information about the Community Development Block Grant program in Austin, contact Neighborhood Housing and Community Development at 512-974-3100 or Jeff Patterson, NHCD Public Information Specialist, at 512-658-4170.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701