House Passes CSBG Reauthorizationposted 5/13/22 -- For the first time in two decades, Congress is poised to reauthorize the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).
House Bill 5129, the CSBG Modernization Act, passed the House Friday in a bipartisan vote of 246 to 169.
“In this partisan time and in this gridlocked environment, to pass a Community Services Block Grant bill on the House floor with strong bipartisan support provides not only a lot of momentum to our reauthorization efforts, but also sends and important message throughout Washington that Congress supports the Community Action Network,” said David Bradley, Executive Director of the National Community Action Foundation who has worked for decades on this legislation.
Lorain County Community Action Agency uses CSBG funds to run programs that respond to community needs in coordination with extensive local public and private partners.
“Our CSBG funded employees were instrumental in responding to the COVID-19 crisis,” said LCCAA CEO Jackie Boehnlein. “Our CSBG staff used well-established relationships and knowledge of local resources and systems to meet the onslaught of needs.”
The bill will reauthorize CSBG for 10 years and provide important modernizations. It includes critical provisions such as raising the income eligibility level and ensuring timely grant awards. It creates a new Broadband Navigator discretionary program to help connect low-income families to high speed internet.
“During the height of the pandemic, eligibility for CSBG programs was increased from 125% of the Federal Poverty Level to 200%,” said Planning and Community Services Director Bobby Taylor. “We could not be happier to be so close to seeing that change made permanent.”
LCCAA helps more than 20,000 households every year. CSBG accounts for approximately 11% of the agency’s annual budget. CSBG funding in Lorain County supports LCCAA’s youth programming, food pantry partnerships, a matched-grant car purchase program, a winter coats for children program, and financial literacy training.