The federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD)’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has been around since 1974 and has a nearly $3 billion annual budget. President Obama recently introduced a new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule that will require municipalities to document patterns of racial bias in their neighborhoods and publicly report the findings every 3-5 years. The rule will apply to all cities that get any money from the CDBG program. HUD disperses money to local municipalities to provide low income housing and public services. Entitlement cities are cities with populations above 50,000 and counties with populations over 200,000 that are automatically eligible for 70% of CDGB funds. Municipalities will have to assess their zoning and land use decisions to determine their impact on fair housing choice.
Julian Castro, the HUD secretary, recently spoke with National Public Radio about the new rule: “So, we’re looking, more than anything else, for cities that are making best efforts to ensure that everybody in their community has a fair shot at opportunity. It might be demonstrating that with respect to housing choice vouchers they’re ensuring that families who have a voucher can move to different parts of the community, that affordable housing is being developed in different parts of the community.” The federal government would withhold funding from municipalities who don’t meet the requirements.
Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, embraced the new changes in a statement, “HUD’s action today will make it a little easier for families with children, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian American Pacific Islanders, new Americans, people with disabilities and other under-served Americans to make ends meet.”
According to HUD’s website, the following Minnesota cities and counties fall under the Community Development Blog Grant program as Entitlement cities and counties: (Click on each municipality to show how they used CDBG money dispensed between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013)
Coon Rapids (link not available)