Congressman Cohen Introduces CDBG Equity Act

September 29, 2020
Press Release
Provides fairness for communities like Memphis in Community Development Block Grant funding


MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today introduced the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Equity Act, which would update the current U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) CDBG funding criteria and adopt a single formula for grants based on factors reflecting current needs.

HUD’s CDBG program is one of the largest and longest-standing in existence, annually allocating billions of dollars in federal assistance to state and local governments in support of local neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation, and community and economic development efforts, principally for low- and moderate-income people. There are currently two funding formulas which differ in the ways they allocate resources based on poverty levels and population, among other factors. The CBDG Equity Act would adopt a single formula based on four modern factors and allocate funding based on:

  1. Poverty rate per person in families and elderly households: 50%
  2. Female-headed households with children under 18: 10%
  3. Pre-1950 housing occupied by a poverty household: 30%
  4. Overcrowded housing units (more than 1.01 persons per room): 10%

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“Memphis has not received its fair share of CBDG funding because of the antiquated funding formula HUD uses in allocating Community Development Block Grants. In consultation with Mayor Strickland, I have proposed a new funding formula that more fairly measures real community need, and will provide Memphis with a greater share of this critical funding.’”