San Francisco officials are bracing for about $7 million in cuts to federal funding for anti-poverty and community-development programs.
While the exact cuts have yet to be determined, officials estimate that Community Development Block Grants will decrease from $22.2 million to about $15 million for San Francisco alone.
That means less money for services such as job training, small-business assistance, and housing for homeless and foster children. It comes as The City faces its own estimated deficit of $380 million.
The U.S. House of Representatives has proposed a 62.5 percent cut while President Barack Obama has only proposed 7.5 percent, according to Doug Shoemaker of the Mayor’s Office of Housing. The worst-case scenario would affect more than 13,000 low-income and needy families, seniors and youth, and more than 620 small businesses, he said.
Mayor Ed Lee and supervisors Carmen Chu and John Avalos introduced a resolution last week that calls on Obama to minimize the cuts. While Obama has pledged to maintain the funding amid concerns from other big-city mayors, congressional Republicans are working to reduce the national deficit.
Community Development Block Grants represent about $4 billion in federal dollars given to local governments to use on a variety of programs that fight poverty and homelessness. In San Francisco, much of that money is given to nonprofit organizations while about $10 million goes to the Mayor’s Office of Housing for affordable housing, loans and other programs.
The public will have a chance to weigh in when the Citizen’s Committee on Community Development meets at 1 South Van Ness Ave. on April 5. Committee member Joshua Arce said the cuts will affect all organizations that rely on the funding.
“There’s a consensus that we must prioritize safety-net services for our most vulnerable residents,” Arce said. “I think every organization that we fund is going to see less money than they saw last year.”
Estimated impact of federal budget cuts:
$22.2 million CDBG funds The City received in 2010
$15.5 million Estimated 2011 funds
13,000 Estimated city residents to be affected by projected cuts
620 Estimated businesses to be affected