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Block grants to US cities big in waste, report says

Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal block grants to cities are being wasted, the General Accounting Office says in a just released report. The GAO says that funds provided under the Community Development Block Grant program were spread so thin it was virtually impossible to concentrate spending on major problem areas, and that $240 million was spent in 1979 on public services with a minimal effect on revitalizing communities.

The report says many cities can't prove that the funds are being used to benefit low- and moderate-income people, as required by law.

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The GAO recommends Congress examine the matter and see if additional measures are needed to meet the objectives of the law authorizing the block grants to communities.

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