Preserve CDBG Funding

The American Planning Association asks:

Can Advocacy Associates help us preserve funding for the CDBG program at HUD? It matters to us.

Background

APA is a strong advocate of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For their members the program is critical, but it was at risk in one of the most difficult budget environments in recent memory.

Advocacy Associates Strategy

Advocacy Associates represented APA in a coalition of industry stakeholders and national groups representing elected officials that joined together to develop and implement a strategy to convince congressional staff of the importance of the CDBD program. Advocacy Associates worked tirelessly with this coalition to develop relationships, share intelligence, and draft communications.

In conjunction with our efforts in Washington, Advocacy Associates launched a still on-going grassroots campaign with APA members. Ground support was developed through consistent outreach and training; members receive messaging and informational materials to use in their own advocacy efforts, attend webinar-based trainings, and receive updates through APA’s blogs, newsletters, action alerts. Specific action is taken each year at the lobby day associated with APA’s annual legislative conference and targeted meetings with members in key Congressional districts.

Results

Congress heard APA’s message.  CDBG received an increase in funding during the 2013 fiscal year, even when factoring in the cuts required by sequestration. CDBG was mentioned by dozens of members on the House floor and was instrumental in the decision to kill a devastating appropriations bill that would have halved the program for fiscal year 2014. Just as important as this political success, APA continues to maintain the relationships in Washington and strong grassroots program that were developed during this time.