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Study: Getting federal grant money harder for cash-strapped cities

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A new study from the Government Accountability Office shows municipalities in fiscal crisis have more difficulty applying for and managing federal grants.

The GAO focused on several financially-stressed cities including Flint and Detroit.  

The report found that budget cuts and personnel shortages made it difficult for cities to carryout the grant application process.

Some cities said even if they were able to obtain grants, they didn't have enough staff to oversee and report on how the funds were spent.

Many U.S. cities use federal grant money to fund public services like police and fire departments, as well as education and job training programs.

The White House Working Group on Detroit is an interagency group assembled by the White House to help aid Detroit with the city’s financial recovery, including helping to meet grant eligibility requirements.

The GAO says the group should “document and share lessons learned from federal efforts to assist Detroit” to help other cities successfully obtain grants.

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