Research: Assessing the Allocation of CDBG to Community Development Need

Research & Policy | January 9th 2015

A new article by NYU Furman Center’s Robert Collinson evaluates how well the current allocation formula for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program allocates funds with respect to community development need. 

The article, “Assessing the Allocation of CDBG to Community Development Need,” appeared in the January 2014 edition of Housing Policy Debate. In it, Collinson assembled an index of community development need from a variety of demographic and economic indicators which capture the components of need that can be addressed directly by the CDBG program based on its statutory objectives. This index is used to estimate the relation between funding levels and community development need and how this relation has changed over time.

The paper finds that the relation between the formula data inputs and community development need has deteriorated over the past two decades. It also assesses the degree to which several alternative formula specifications would more effectively target need.

Robert Collinson is a second-year doctoral student and a researcher with the NYU Furman Center. The abstract and full article is available in Housing Policy Debate.

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