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Reps. Zeldin, Delgado Lead Bipartisan Effort to Direct Federal Relief Funding to Local Governments

WASHINGTON – RealEstateRama – During the first week of the 117th Congress, Representatives Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) and Antonio Delgado (D, NY-19) reintroduced the Direct Support for Communities Act (H.R. 199), a bipartisan proposal to provide local counties, towns, cities and villages with direct local funding to be used for essential services and to offset lost revenues and increased costs from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March of 2020, provided $500 billion in funds to local communities, but was limited to those municipalities with over 500,000 residents. This restriction cut off smaller communities from receiving funding, including the Town of Brookhaven, which barely missed the cut off due to its population of just under 500,000.

“Our local governments have been on the frontlines in the battle against coronavirus, and they will be critical in finishing the fight on the ground,” said Congressman Zeldin. “In light of historic, enhanced budgetary shortfalls caused by this ongoing outbreak, we must ensure our local governments have the direct funding necessary to recover fiscally. This bipartisan proposal with Congressman Antonio Delgado helps deliver vital funding to counties, towns, cities and villages of all sizes so that we can ensure our communities emerge on the other side of this outbreak stronger than ever.”

“When the COVID-19 crisis hit, our local governments jumped to action to provide essential services while facing decreasing tax revenue. Now, more than 10 months into this pandemic, our communities desperately need federal funds to avoid layoffs, ensure timely vaccine distribution, grow availability of testing, and continue meeting the needs of their residents,” said Representative Antonio Delgado. “Alongside Rep. Lee Zeldin, I re-introduced the bipartisan Direct Support for Communities Act, a commonsense solution that ensures counties, towns, and villages across the country can make ends meet. We must get this bill moved through Congress to support our localities in need – the urgency is now.”

The proposal requires that money is appropriated into two funding pots, (1) Cities, towns and villages; and (2) Counties.

  1. Of the portion of emergency fiscal assistance for cities, towns, and villages:
  • 70% would go to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement communities using the CDBG formula through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allocate the funding.
  • 30% would be sent to the states, which would be required to sub-allocate this entire amount within 30 days to all non-entitlement communities in the state based on population.
  1. The portion of emergency fiscal assistance for counties would be allocated across all counties based on population. The exception to that formula is a current CDBG entitlement county would receive its entitlement amount if it is higher than what that county would receive under an allocation based on population.