(Washington, DC – 02/10/2020) Today, the Trump Administration released its FY 2021 budget proposal, once again calling for the elimination of programs and services that are critical to raising families out of poverty, including the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
“We are incredibly disappointed to see the Administration once again turn its back on low-income families and communities by zeroing out programs in the budget that are proven to create opportunity for Americans with low-incomes,” said Jenae Bjelland, Executive Director of NASCSP. “State leaders and their local partners depend on robust funding to fight poverty and inequality across the country. We are confident that Congress will continue to side with local communities and states and reject these damaging cuts that would harm our country’s families and communities.”
CSBG funds are central to fighting poverty in America through the nation’s 1,000+ local Community Action Agencies (CAAs). CAAs connect millions of children and families to greater opportunity, transforming their lives and making our communities – and our nation – stronger in 99% of U.S. counties. CSBG’s effectiveness lies in its flexibility, allowing each community to directly address the needs of its most vulnerable residents. CAAs also leverage CSBG funds to gain access to other public and private funding sources. In fact, for every CSBG dollar received, an additional $7.30 in state, local, and private funds are leveraged making CSBG a crucial investment in the fight to end poverty in our communities.
“The cuts proposed in the President’s budget would directly and negatively impact family well-being across America,” said Denise Harlow, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Action Partnership. “CSBG, Weatherization, and LIHEAP help families stabilize amid crises and allow local communities to respond to challenges and opportunities. Community Action Agencies help families move toward economic security every day and these core services are critical for many traveling that path.”
Energy efficiency and assistance provide foundational support for families with low-incomes. WAPdelivers comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits for families in unsafe and inefficient homes, lowering both energy costs and health expenses. Every dollar spent on weatherization returns $4.50 in energy savings, health, and safety benefits. The program has retrofitted over 7.4 million homes to date and stimulates economic growth in communities by maintaining 8,500 jobs and supporting small businesses.
LIHEAP meets the home heating and cooling needs of over 6 million low-income households each year, 70% of which contain someone who is elderly, disabled, or a child. LIHEAP not only protects families from extreme cold and heat, it ensures that they do not have to choose between paying their energy bill and buying other necessities like food and medicine. Eliminating these energy programs will result in fewer safe, energy efficient homes and eliminate a lifeline for families during periods of dangerously extreme temperatures.
NASCSP and CAP are committed to working with our partners at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure there are adequate resources for these and other vital programs such as SNAP, Head Start, and housing assistance. These programs and services create and preserve opportunity, allowing each individual and family in America to reach their full potential. We urge our leaders in Congress to protect Americans with low-incomes in the FY 2021 appropriations bills and continue the record of bipartisan support for CSBG, WAP, and LIHEAP.
The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) represents the State administrators of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) in all 50 states, DC, and five U.S. territories. For more information visit www.nascsp.org
The Community Action Partnership (CAP) is the national membership organization that provides training and technical assistance to Community Action Agencies, nonprofit, and public groups funded by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). For more information visit www.communityactionpartnership.com