Congress passes $100 million in community grant funds

Congressman Steve Knight answers questions from constiuents during a town hall at the Chimbole Cultural Center in Palmdale on March 4. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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This week, the House of Representatives approved $100 million in grant funding to go back into communities around the country.

When President Donald Trump eliminated Community Development Block Grants from his national budget in May, Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) spoke out in an effort to amend the budget to include the grants.

On Wednesday, the House unanimously approved an amendment the appropriations bill to include the grants for the 2018 fiscal year.

“Community Development Block Grants have been a tremendous asset to states and local governments across the country that are looking for extra assistance keeping their communities safe and providing services to those who need it the most,” Knight said in a statement.

The grants fund infrastructure, public services, housing rehabilitation and other improvements.

Santa Clarita used over $300,000 in CDGB funds in the 2015-16 fiscal year for early childhood services, mental health counseling, rehabilitating housing programs and accessibility for people aided through the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Homeless services, domestic violence support and summer youth programs also garnered funding through the grants.

“Santa Clarita residents greatly benefit from the projects that these community grants fund,” Knight said. “Making our sidewalks and city more ADA accessible, supporting youth programs and access to mental health services creates a greater and more appealing community. I look forward to seeing more of the great work that will be done for Santa Clarita.”

With the added $100 million in funds, the appropriations bill totals $3 billion, which is the same as last year.

“Securing funding for these grant programs to the (2017 fiscal year) level is not only a good thing for our communities, but a necessary contribution from Congress directly impacting the lives of our constituents,” the congressman said.

Representatives will vote on the full appropriations bill next week.

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