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Shrinking Troy Could Lose HUD Funding

WAMC photo by Aubrey Mulvey

New York Senator Chuck Schumer was in Troy today to kick off his campaign to prevent the Department of Housing and Urban Development from reforming the Community Development Block Program in a way that would remove the Collar City from eligibility.

People count. A census tally of the number of residents that came up 54 citizens short could cost Troy funding the city has come to rely on.

Standing at the intersection of 3rd and 4th streets, Senator Schumer explained why the money may dry up:  "Right now HUD, which runs CDBG, federal HUD, is considering a change which would be a dagger through the heart of Troy, it would deprive Troy of about $2.5 million in CDBG funds each year, and that would de-leverage and reduce private funding by millions and millions more."

Why would HUD want to do such a thing? The Democrat says the agency has a rule:  "And that is, you're automatically eligible for grants if you have 50,000 people. You can receive CDBG grants if you're below 50,000, but then you have to compete against everywhere else, as opposed to just getting a certain amount by right."

Schumer promised he will not let the HUD changes pass. As a member of the banking committee, he believes he can stop them. "Any major change in CDBG that prevents Troy from receiving these funds would be a tough blow, particularly because Troy is right in the middle of putting together its 5-year plan, dependent on CDBG funds."  HUD did not immediately comment.

Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia is confident Senator Schumer will rescue the city.  "He's been a strong and efficient advocate on behalf of the city of Troy and all of its residents. He continues to fight for the issues that are critically important to our livelihood. Most recently, he urged the release of FEMA money to rebuild our seawall, so that we can protect our familiy, businesses and infrastructure for many years."

Schumer had urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency  to approve $6.7 million in federal funds for much-needed repairs and improvements to the Troy seawall, which was severely damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene three years ago. 

Schumer told the gathering he's received word that the funding will be approved within the next few weeks.

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