- a consolidated grant of federal funds, formerly allocated for specific programs, that a state or local government may use at its discretion for such programs as education or urban development.
Origin of block grant
- (in Britain) an annual grant made by the government to a local authority to help to pay for the public services it provides, such as health, education, and housing
A financial aid package that grants federal money to state and local governments for use in social welfare programs, such as law enforcement, community development, and health services. Block grants provide money for general areas of social welfare, rather than for specific programs. This arrangement not only reduces bureaucratic red tape (see also red tape), but also allows grant recipients more freedom to choose how to use the funds. A product of Republican administrations in the 1970s and 1980s, block grants reduce federal responsibility for social welfare. (See federalism.)