In 1982 responsibility for HUD's Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program was transferred to state governments as part of President Reagan's New Federalism initiatives. Devolution was designed to (1) implement a new vision of American federalism, (2) shift control over a significant source of financial resources for nonmetropolitan areas, and (3) end the bypassing of state government officials in community development decisionmaking. This article uses the eleven year (1975–1985) history of Small Cities CDBG awards in Mississippi to assess the consequences of the program's devolution. Changes in the pattern of state CDBG awards indicate that the program's devolution produced a policy redirection that channeled CDBG funds to a larger number of the smallest municipalities and permitted more local discretion in project design. As a result, HUD no longer dictated community development policy to small cities. Instead, community development priorities in Mississippi emerged out of an award process that involved interaction among state and local officials.
Krane, Dale, "Devolution of the Small Cities CDBG Program in Mississippi" (1987). Public Administration Faculty Publications. 59.