On the campaign trail, President Obama promised to increase funding for the Community Development Block Grant program. Run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the grants pay for housing projects in low-income areas, provide relief to disaster areas, and pay for various other community development and poverty relief programs.
At the time, we rated the promise In the Works, since although the 2010 budget included increased funds for the program, Congress still needed to approve the final amount.
On December 16, 2009, Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 into law. The bill provides funding for, among other government agencies, the HUD for the year 2010. Congress ended up appropriating $4.45 billion for the block grants, $550 million above 2009, to fund projects in 1,180 local communities.
The administration has released its 2011 budget, so we thought we'd take a look there, too. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the 2011 budget would provide $4 billion for the block grants. That's a slight decrease from this year, but is still high enough to let Obama keep his promise of reversing previous attempts to cut the program. In 2008, the Bush Administration said that the program "needs reform because it is not well-targeted to the neediest communities and its results have not been adequately demonstrated." It asked for $3 billion for the program, $0.9 billion less than the previous year.
President Obama's 2010 budget increased funding for the Community Development Block Grants. His proposed 2011 budget lowers the amount slightly, but is still consistent with his promise to reverse attempts at significantly cutting the program. We rate this Promise Kept.