Congressman Faleomavaega today announced that $1,485,137 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grants, and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program has been made available to American Samoa from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Within the funds made available, American Samoa will receive:
- $1,133,433 in Community Development Block Grants
- $51,807 in Emergency Shelter Grants
- $299,897 for the HOME Investment Partnerships
Community Development Block Grants
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD.
CDBG is an important tool that helps local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities. A grantee must develop and follow a detailed plan that provides for and encourages citizen participation. This integral process emphasizes participation by persons of low or moderate income, and particularly residents of areas in which the grantee proposes to use CDBG funds. The plan must provide citizens with the following: reasonable and timely access to local meetings; an opportunity to review proposed activities and program performance; provide for timely written answers to written complaints and grievances.
Over a 1, 2, or 3-year period, as selected by the grantee, not less than 70 percent of CDBG funds must be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons. In addition, each activity must meet one of the following national objectives for the program: benefit low- and moderate-income persons, prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or address urgent community development needs related to serious or immediate threats to the health or welfare of communities that lack access to other funding sources.
Emergency Shelter Grants
The Emergency Shelter Grants program provides basic shelter and essential supportive services for the homeless as well as homeless prevention assistance to persons at imminent risk of losing their own housing due to eviction, foreclosure, or utility shutoffs. It can assist with the operational costs of the shelter facility, and for the administration of the grant.
Grantees, which are state governments, large cities, urban counties, and U.S. territories, receive ESG grants and make these funds available to eligible recipients, which can be either local government agencies or private nonprofit organizations.
ESG funds are available for the rehabilitation or remodeling of a building used as a new shelter, operations and maintenance of the facility, essential supportive services (i.e., case management, physical and mental health treatment, substance abuse counseling, childcare, etc.), homeless prevention, and grant administration.
HOME Investment Program
The HOME Investment Program is the largest Federal block grant to State and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. Each year the HOME Program allocates approximately $2 billion to the States and hundreds of localities nationwide. The program was designed to reinforce several important values and principles of community development.
Of particular importance to American Samoa is HOME's flexibility. This principle empowers people and communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities. HOME also provides formula grants that communities often use in partnership with local nonprofit groups to fund a wide range of activities such as rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership and providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. Also to note is HOME’s emphasis on consolidated planning which expands and strengthens partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector.
HOME funds are awarded annually as formula grants to participating jurisdictions. HUD establishes HOME Investment Trust Funds for each grantee, providing a line of credit that the jurisdiction may draw upon as needed. The program's flexibility allows States and local governments to use HOME funds for grants, direct loans, loan guarantees or other forms of credit enhancement, or rental assistance or security deposits.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues in Congress and President Obama for securing funding for these essential community programs. I would also like to commend HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan for his commitment to strengthening our communities through effective implementation and continuation of these grants,” Faleomavaega stated.
“I also would like to thank our local community leaders’ efforts in serving our communities on the grass roots level. These funds are meaningless without dedicated servants to go out into the field and implement quality programs and services. Thank you for your hard work and service to our people,” the Congressman concluded.