Leahy Steers Housing And Community Development Programs Vital To Vermont Through The Senate Appropriations Committee

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday steered a funding bill through the Senate Appropriations Committee that protects vital housing and community development programs important to Vermont from elimination by the Trump administration and maintains new investments achieved in last year’s bipartisan budget deal. 

The committee-passed bill provides $3.3 billion in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), $1.36 billion for the Home Investment Partnership Programs (HOME), and $147 million for NeighborWorks.  The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to eliminate these vital programs only to be rebuffed by Republicans and Democrats on the Appropriations Committee.

Leahy said:  “These programs leverage community investments to revitalize our rural downtowns and increase affordable housing.  We have used them effectively throughout Vermont, again and again.  This is common sense, and I’m glad that Republicans and Democrats continue to come together to support these programs for Vermont and communities across the country.”

The CDBG, HOME and NeighborWorks programs provide crucial funding that Vermont communities leverage to construct, rehabilitate and maintain affordable housing and revitalize Vermont’s rural economy.  Over the course of CDBG’s 43-year history, Vermont has received more than $400 million in CDBG funds to invest in rural infrastructure needs, leveraging more than $4 billion in additional investments.  Since 1992, HOME funds have built, rehabilitated, or preserved more than 2,000 affordable housing units in Vermont and supported 4,640 jobs.

Leahy was a lead Senate negotiator in the bipartisan budget deal reached earlier this year that led to historic investments in domestic priorities like community development and affordable housing, increasing HOME by $412 million and CDBG by $300 million in fiscal year 2018.  As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy was able to protect those new investments in this fiscal year 2019 funding bill, which sets the budgets of several agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 


These programs make possible projects in Vermont like rehabilitating the French Block in Montpelier, and expanding LEDdynamics in Randolph.  The French Block, which was supported by HOME and NeighborWorks investments, will redevelop a vacant building to provide affordable housing and help to revitalize the Montpelier Historic District.  The LEDdynamics expansion, which was supported by CDBG, will construct a new manufacturing facility and add 40 new jobs to the local economy.

The funding bill now must be considered and passed by the full Senate and the House of Representatives and signed into law by the President.

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