$7M in federal funding cuts to hit jobs, housing, child programs in San Francisco 

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.”

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Going backward

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

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Brent Begin

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