Constituent Services
Congressman Higgins Expresses Concern Over Slashing of Community Development Block Grant Programs in Western New York
February 14, 2005
Proposed Federal Budget to Eliminate Hamburg Adult Day Care Program, Aqua Therapy Pool and Domestic Violence Program
 
Hamburg, NY—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) was in Hamburg, NY to highlight the negative effects the recently released FY2006 Federal budget will have on Western New York, specifically on Community Block Development Grants (CDBG) throughout the 27th District.  The budget proposes to slash community development funding by $1.9 billion dollars, a cut of 35% from the $5.6 billion dollar level at which these programs were funded in FY 2005.  Congressman Higgins was joined by Hamburg Town Supervisor Pat Hoak and other local elected officials whose towns and cities will be affected by the elimination of CDBG programs.
 
“This is another example of the adverse effects the proposed Federal budget will have on important and successful programs in Western New York,” said Congressman Higgins.  “CDBG programs work in Hamburg.  They have made an impact on thousands of Western New Yorkers, and they will be the ones hit hardest by the elimination of these programs.”
 
In 2005, Hamburg is slated to receive $505,273 in CDBG funding.  There are three programs in Hamburg which are currently funded by CDBG.  They include the Adult Day Care program in Hamburg, which was started in 1995 with CDBG funds, serves about 85 seniors a week, and was named one of the “Top 40 innovative uses of block grant funds in the Country.”  The Domestic Violence Program in Hamburg is another example.  It serves 60 to 100 cases per month, uses $35,000 to $50,000 in CDBG funds and works with victims and families to connect them with community resources.  Finally, the Aqua Therapy Pool in Hamburg started with block grant funds, and with three classes per day and open swim, seniors in Hamburg have praised the rehabilitation and exercise benefits of the pool and insurance companies pay for seniors to use it.
 
“This is not an example of a program that is not working well,” said Higgins, alluding to language used by the President in his State of the Union message. “The fact is that thousands of residents from Cheektowaga to West Seneca to Hamburg benefit from this funding, and these cuts will hurt real people in the end,” Higgins added.
 
The CDBG program was created in 1974.  For 30 years, it has served as a backbone of federal investment in local communities.  Its funding is essential to neighborhood revitalization, expansion of affordable housing and economic opportunity, and improvements to community facilities and services.
 
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