Community development was one of the first block grant programs, a “hybrid” which retained categorical features and constraints. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) has proven to be resilient and popular with local officials. It has been reauthorized by Congress a number of times over the past three decades, and is among the 15 largest federal grant-in-aid programs. In recent years, the Bush administration, Government Accountability Office, and others have called for major changes in the program, including funding formula, program priorities, performance reporting, and agency location. This paper describes the general characteristics of block grants, the dynamics of the block grant “balancing act,” and lessons from experience. In this context, the varying expectations of CDBG stakeholders and reformers are identified and implications for policy-makers are discussed. Options for the future design and direction of the program are offered.
Stenberg, C. (2008), "The community development balancing act: reconciling expectations for a hybrid block grant", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 87-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-20-01-2008-B006Download as .RIS
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