Tuesday, March 11, 2008

105 Detroit non-profits lose federal funding

The Free Press reports that 105 Detroit non-profits will be denied Community Development Block Grants because of a new residency requirement passed by the Detroit City Council in July. To be eligible for federal funding, at least half of an organization's board members must now be residents of the city. That means dozens of non-profits are currently ineligible. Focus: HOPE, for example, will lose $205,000 in CDBG funds; Greening of Detroit will lose $125,000.

This is a disaster. The City Council had good intentions -- city residents should control city funding -- but the rule is too demanding and gave no time for non-profits to react. Charities can't overturn their boards overnight. Hopefully the Council will find a way to amend the rule or delay its onset. In the meantime, smaller, community-based non-profits may rejoice -- with most major non-profits ineligible, the pool of CDBG funds leftover for everyone else just grew immensely.

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