Community Development Block Grants

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are entitlement grants awarded to cities and counties through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that are based upon need factors including population, income, unemployment level and housing conditions. Community Development Block Grants are to be used for a wide range of housing and community development activities directed toward neighborhood revitalization, economic development and improved community facilities and services, and must give “maximum feasible priority” to activities that will benefit low-and moderate-income persons or aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight. Funds may also be used to meet other community development needs that present a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community.

Governments, councils of government, community development corporations, associations, religious organizations, schools or other agencies with non-profit status under the Internal Revenue Code (Section 501(c)(3) may apply for Community Development Block Grants. All proposed activities must meet eligibility requirements as set forth by HUD. Because funds are limited, not all organizations that apply will be awarded grants.

Eligible activities for Community Development Block Grants include 1) acquiring real property for public purposes; 2) reconstructing or rehabilitating housing and other property; 3) building public facilities and improvements, such as streets, sidewalks, sewers, water systems, community and senior citizen centers and recreational facilities; 4) helping people prepare for and obtain employment through education and job training, welfare-to-work activities and other services; 5) assisting for-profit businesses for special economic development activities: 6) providing public services for youth, seniors or the physically challenged. These might include day care centers, youth services and meals on wheels for the elderly, health care facilities, transportation or counseling; 7) carrying out crime reduction initiatives such as establishing neighborhood watch programs, providing extra police patrols, rehabilitating or constructing police substations and clearing abandoned buildings used for illegal activities: 8) assisting low-income homebuyers directly through, for example, down-payment assistance, subsidizing interest rates or helping with closing costs for first-time homebuyers; 9) enforcing local building codes to reverse housing deterioration and other signs of blight; and 10) paying for planning and administrative expenses, such as costs relating to development a Consolidated Plan and managing CDBG funds.For more information on Community Development Block Grants contact HUD or contact your local county government agency to see if your project idea is eligible for CDBG funding.

Beverly Santicola, USGG grant writers, and the Center for Rural Outreach and Public Services, Inc. all have expertise in writing and winning Community Development Block Grants.

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