The proposed elimination of the Community Development Block Grant in the Trump Administration’s 2018 federal budget would harm Seattle’s effort to reduce the risk of residential, economic and cultural displacement across the city.
We have just launched our new Equitable Development Initiative to reduce the risk of displacement of current residents and to support access to economic opportunity in historically disadvantaged communities. The initiative will support community-based organizations, initially with capacity building and concept development, and eventually with capital investments to support new jobs, housing, and preservation of cultural institutions.
The City of Seattle has committed $16 million in local resources for this effort. Beginning in 2018, we are expecting to augment those funds with $430,000 of federal Community Development Block Grant funding annually on an ongoing basis. The loss of these federal funds would significantly limit the reach of the initiative and prevent significant ongoing actions to respond to economic and cultural displacement pressures in the Central Area, Rainier Beach, Chinatown-International District, and other at-risk neighborhoods throughout the city.