The federal government is currently considering changes that could mean another reduction in the amount of Community Development Block Grant funds the City receives.
Here’s some background.
In 1987, the City received $35 million in CDBG funding. In 2001, $28.3 million. This year, $23.5 million. Yet, needs and costs remain urgent and high.
There are approximately 80,000 pre-1940 housing units — a key target of CDBG funds in the City of St. Louis. Approximately 90,000 city residents — another target live in poverty, according to the 2000 Census.
Over past four years, we have used to CDBG funds to:Spark the housing market in neighborhoods that have not seen major investment in decades, including Ville Phillips Estates, Old North St. Louis, Baden, West End north of Delmar
Acquire blighted problem properties in distressed neighborhoods
Assist nearly 400 low/moderate income renters in moving to homeownership
Jump start retail development in depressed commercial areas throughout the City, including 500 façade improvement projects
Pay for day care, health care, home repair and other services for low and moderate income families
Assist in the production of nearly 5,000 rental/for-sale/market rate/affordable homes in distressed parts of the City — nearly a third of them new and owner-occupied
Complement the funding in three Hope VI developments, allowing us to turn obsolete unsafe high-rise public housing developments into attractive mixed-income communities
This is an issue well worth monitoring. US Representative Lacy Clay, who recently spent hours with our staff touring the neighborhoods, is a key ally.