Housing and Economic Development – Eliminate City-Funded Delegate Agency Programs

Savings: $5.6 million

Through the Supportive Services for Commercial Area Development program (formerly called Technical Assistance to Business Groups), “funding is provided to nonprofit organizations whose objectives include small business development, site development or area-wide marketing, maintenance and management within a specified commercial business district.”[1] The recipients are mostly local chambers of commerce and community development corporations. The City provides this funding to support the organizations’ operating budgets rather than specific programs.

Through the Technical Assistance-Citywide (TACIT) program (formerly the Citywide Resource Centers), “technical assistance and training are offered to build and strengthen the capacity of community organizations, delegate agencies, nonprofit developers, homeowners, tenants, landlords and other groups to carry out housing-related activities in low-and moderate-income communities.”[2]  The Local Industrial Retention Initiative (LIRI) provides grants to community organizations “to stabilize and expand the local manufacturing base.”[3]

The table below details the number of grantees and the value of the contracts these programs have awarded in 2011.

City-funded Business Support Programs

Number of Grantees

2011 Spending

Support Services for Commercial Area Development

91

$3,719,737

Technical Assistance Citywide (TACIT)

21

$1,074,000

Local Industrial Retention Initiative (LIRI) Councils

16

$822,214

Total

$5,615,951

 

Under this option, these programs would be eliminated, saving approximately $5.6 million annually. For a list of grantees follow the link below:

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/delegate_agencieseconomicdevelopment.html

Proponents might argue that the City provides a large amount of funding for these types of services through the federally funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and should not devote City funds to these types of services. Others might argue that because this grant program provides funding for operating expenses supporting a variety of different services rather than focusing funds on specific programs, funding is too diffuse to meaningfully measure whether the City is getting good value for its funding. Opponents might argue that in the current economic downturn, the local business development   that these organizations attempt to facilitate and the housing assistance they provide is especially crucial. Additionally, the programs’ flexibility allows community-based grant recipients to provide services according to each individual community’s needs.

 

Budget Details

Dept: Community Development, 054 Bureau:  NA
Fund:  Corporate Fund, 0100 Approp Code: For Delegate Agencies, 0135
The appropriation is located on page 135 of the 2011 Annual Appropriation Ordinance.

http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/obm/supp_info/2011BudgetOrdinance.pdf

 


[1] City of Chicago. Department of Community Development. Resource Guide. pg. 11

[2] City of Chicago. Department of Community Development. Resource Guide. pg. 10

[3] Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council. “Local Industrial Retention Initiative.”

http://bync.org/?cat=50