2023 Advocacy Priorities

The Council of State Community Development Agencies (COSCDA) is a forty eight-year-old advocacy organization that represents state community development housing agencies responsible for administering Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program (both formula based and the Disaster Recovery) the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs along with the National Housing Trust Fund; all programs that meet critical housing and community development needs and have played a major role in the successful transformation of both urban and rural communities in all fifty states since their inception.

Since its inception, COSCDA has advocated a state and federal government partnership in the administration of community development programs. It is COSCDA’s foundational premise that a collaborative approach between states, local and the federal government is vital to the effective administration of these core infrastructure programs and ultimately to the vitality of communities across this nation. COSCDA members are united behind the premise that there must be a balance that protects traditional state authority, allowing states to continue focusing on state-driven priorities and maintaining maximum flexibility to meet the needs of cities and towns large and small in every state. It continues to be documented that this threefold partnership (state, local and federal) has resulted in stronger communities.

For Fiscal Year 2023, COSCDA strongly urges Congress and the Administration to implement the recommendations listed below to enhance the effective administration of these core community development tools while safeguarding the most vulnerable citizens in states across this nation.

Cross-Cutting

  • Promote Streamlined Administration on Federal Compliance Standards
  • Implement Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) responsive to state actions in small and rural communities
  • Examine Section 3’s impact on project development and feasibility in advancing employment opportunities
  • Standardize Environmental Reviews
  • Determine Davis Bacon Effectiveness and Impact on Project Development

Community Development

  • COSCDA recommends $4.2B for CDBG to promote community-led projects and services especially for vulnerable & disadvantaged populations
  • Modernize CDBG Responsive to Local Needs in the 21st Century
  • Recognize and Promote CDBG as an Infrastructure Program

Housing

  • COSCDA recommends $2.5B for HOME to expand affordable housing
  • Recognize Housing Trust Fund as a distinct resource to advance housing for very and extremely low-income persons/families
  • Recognize and Invest in Housing as Infrastructure
  • Promote HOME Reforms to Advance Housing Access and Opportunity
  • Enhance Housing Trust Fund to Promote Housing for Vulnerable Populations
  • Advance Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for Affordable Housing Development

Disaster Recovery

  • Annual funding is recommended to accommodate planning and capacity building in post-disaster recovery activities
  • Align Environmental Review Standards for Coastal and Inland Risk Areas
  • Improve Federal Response for Communities Recovering from Disaster Events
  • Ease Access to Post-Disaster Aid for Low and Moderate Income Households

Homelessness

  • COSCDA urges $3.5B for Homeless Assistance Grants to aid individuals experiencing homelessness through targeted outreach and assistance; as allowed in statute , 20% ($700m) of this amount should be directed to Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)
  • Increase the number of housing vouchers to help individuals and families access permanent supportive housing
  • Maximize Use of ESG for Homeless Assistance
  • Increase Available Use of Emergency Solutions Grants for Existing Shelters
  • Define Transitional Housing
  • Advance Coordination between PHAs and CoCs
  • Integrate Homelessness Data with Related Supportive Services
  • Enhance Administrative Capacity and Technical Assistance in Homelessness Support