Knight opposes Trump’s proposed elimination of community grants

Congressman Steve Knight answers questions at a town hall at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Knight announced he was considering a run in the special election for the seat Katie Hill is expected to vacate shortly. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Among other major cuts, President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget would strip all funding for the Community Development Block Grant program.

These grants provide funds for state and local governments to pay for public services, housing rehabilitation, infrastructure and public improvements, among other community and economic development programs.

It’s now Congressman Steve Knight’s (R-Palmdale) priority to maintain this funding, his office said.

“We are pushing for the House Appropriations Committee to allocate funding to this program, as it has proven to help many cities like Santa Clarita across the nation,” Knight’s spokesperson told The Signal.

“That will be the main allocation of where funding will be coming from.”

In the 2015-16 fiscal year, Santa Clarita used over $300,000 worth of CDBG funding, Knight’s office cited.

This provided the city with affordable and rehabilitating housing programs, early childhood services, mental health counseling and accessibility for those under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the spokesperson said.

California received over $350,000,000 in CDBG funds in 2016, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the department that administers the CDBG.

“We’re trying to advocate for it in a more general sense,” Knight’s office said. “We want to make sure there is funding for this specific grant.”

At town hall meetings, protests and online, Knight has been criticized by some Democrat constiuents for his votes along party lines, most recently on the American Health Care Act and the Financial Choice Act.

According to his spokesperson, Knight’s role is not to vote with the party, but for constituents.

“Everything that we’re doing is for the district,” the spokesperson said. “We know how important this grant is to Santa Clarita and all areas.”

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