The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. The program was designed to reinforce several important values and principles of community development:
- CDBG’s flexibility empowers people and communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities.
- CDBG’s emphasis on consolidated planning expands and strengthens partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector in enhancing community development.
- CDBG’s technical assistance activities and set-aside for grantees builds the capacity of these partners.
Eligible grantees are:
- Principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
- Other metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000
- Qualified urban counties with populations of at least 200,000 (excluding the population of entitled cities)
- States and insular areas
Eligibility for participation as an entitlement community is based on population data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and metropolitan area delineations published by the Office of Management and Budget. HUD determines the amount of each entitlement grantee’s annual funding allocation by a statutory dual formula which uses several objective measures of community needs, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.
Eligibility for participation as a state – 49 States and Puerto Rico participate in the State CDBG Program. HUD continues to administer the program for the non-entitled counties in the State of Hawaii because the State has permanently elected not to participate in the State CDBG Program. HUD distributes funds to each State based on a statutory formula which takes into account population, poverty, incidence of overcrowded housing, and age of housing.
States participating in the CDBG Program award grants only to non-entitlement Units of General Local Government (UGLG).
CDBG funds may be used for activities which include:
- Acquisition of real property
- Relocation and demolition
- Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures
- Construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes
- Public services, within certain limits
- Activities relating to energy conservation and renewable energy resources
- Provision of assistance to profit-motivated businesses to carry out economic development and job creation/retention activities
Each activity must meet one of the following national objectives for the program: benefit low- and moderate-income persons, prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or address community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community for which other funding is not available. Generally, the following types of activities are ineligible:
- Acquisition, construction, or reconstruction of buildings for the general conduct of government
- Political activities
- Certain income payments
- Construction of new housing (with some exceptions)
Over a 1, 2, or 3-year period, as selected by the grantee, not less than 70 percent of CDBG funds must be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons.
HUD does not provide CDBG assistance directly to individuals, businesses, nonprofit or organizations or other non-governmental entities. If you are interested in participating in this program, you need to contact your local municipal or county officials to find out how the program operates in your area. Participation requirements may differ from one grantee to another.
If your local government officials cannot answer your questions, or if you are a local official, contact the HUD field office that serves your area. Note that the local government administers the program and determines which local projects receive funding.
A grantee must develop and follow a detailed plan which provides for, and encourages, citizen participation and which emphasizes participation by persons of low- or moderate-income, particularly residents of predominantly low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, slum or blighted areas, and areas in which the grantee proposes to use CDBG funds. The plan must:
- Provide citizens with reasonable and timely access to local meetings, information, and records related to the grantee’s proposed and actual use of funds
- Provide for public hearings to obtain citizen views and to respond to proposals and questions at all stages of the community development program, including at least the development of needs, the review of proposed activities, and review of program performance
- Provide for timely written answers to written complaints and grievances
- Identify how the needs of non-English speaking residents will be met in the case of public hearings where a significant number of non-English speaking residents can be reasonably expected to participate
HUD introduced the eCon Planning Suite, including the Consolidated Plan template in IDIS OnLine and the CPD Maps website. By creating a more cohesive planning and grants management framework and providing better data and a tool for analysis, the eCon Planning Suite supports grantees and the public to assess their needs and make strategic investment decisions. HUD grantees are now required to submit their Consolidated Plan and year one Annual Action Plan using the Consolidated Plan template in IDIS OnLine. If grantees have an approved multi-year Consolidated Plan, they are not required to use IDIS to submit their Annual Action Plan until the next multi-year strategy is due.
Thank you to HUD for this overview.