HUD Community Development Block Grant Program
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant program (Entitlement Communities Grants and State Program Grants; CFDA Number: 14.218, 14.228) is designed to help cities and states provide affordable housing and expand economic opportunities; CDBG funds must go to principally benefit persons of low and moderate income. The CDBG program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1209 general units of local government and States.
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Purpose: The purpose of the CDBG program is to provide funding to states and communities qualifying as “entitlement communities”1 to help them provide decent affordable housing, suitable living environments, and economic development opportunities for low- and moderate-income communities.
Eligible Uses: Recipient communities may undertake a wide range of community-based activities directed toward neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and community services, facilities, and improvements. CDBG funding may be used for a wide range of community development activities including: acquisition, relocation, demolition and rehabilitation of residential and non-residential property; the provision of public facilities and improvements (such as water, sewer, streets, and neighborhood centers); and projects to help conserve energy or promote renewable energy. CDBG funds can also be used for historic preservation purposes. A certain portion of the funds can be used to pay for public services and to conduct planning activities. CDBG funds can also be used as non-federal match for other programs requiring state or local matching funds. Seventy percent of CDBG funds must be used to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.2 Each CDBG eligible activity must meet one of the three national objectives specified in the Housing and Community Development Act: benefit low- and moderate-income persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slum or blight, or meet other community development needs having a particular urgency and must be specified in the jurisdiction's consolidated plan (described below).3
Potential Adaptation Uses: CDBG can be used for a wide array of climate change adaptation related activities such as enhancing the resilience of public and affordable housing, enhancing streetscapes with tree canopy of green infrastructure strategies that will reduce flood and heat risks, enhancing public infrastructure to be more resilient to climate change, and relocating structures out of flood-prone areas.
Eligible Grantees (and subgrantees): Eligible grantees include “units of general local government” and this includes cities, counties, towns, and “combinations of political subdivisions” (42 U.S.C. § 5302). Subgrants can be made to universities, and non-profit and for-profit entities when appropriate for carrying out economic development projects (42 U.S.C. § 5305). States can also enter into interstate agreements or compacts to cooperatively provide community development planning or projects benefiting interstate areas (42 U.S.C. § 5315). Entitlement communities grants go directly to cities meeting statutory definitions.4 For the state program, only states are eligible to receive funds and they allocate funding amounts to local government consistent with the state's community development objective. Local governments may not receive funding from the state if they already receive funding from the Entitlement Communities component of the Community Development Block Grant.
Process and Requirements: CDBG funding is distributed on a formula basis directly to larger entitlement cities and for smaller communities through a state-administered program. Each grantee must develop a consolidated plan5 that comprehensively describes how they will use the funding to meet economic development objectives for low- and moderate-income communities. The plan must prioritize economic development activities, and describe methods for carrying out eligible activities and complying with state and federal requirements.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) provides up to date information on recent appropriations to this program from Congress, the average size of grants, and matching requirements. A summary is included here, but check the CFDA for more up to date information:
- Recent Obligations: For entitlement communities: FY 15 $1,943,138,000; FY 16 est $2,562,743,000; and FY 17 est $2,051,489,000. For state programs formula grants: FY 15 $711,698,000; FY 16 est $933,570,000; and FY 17 est $751,379,000
- Size of Grants: Entitlement communities grants range from a low of $72,231 to a high of $178,008,585. The average grant size is $2,956,494. State grant amounts are determined by a formula. In FY 16 the average grant amount was $17.9 million and grant amounts ranged from $2 million to $60 million.
- Matching Requirement: No matching requirements for entitlement communities grants. For states that use more than $100,000 for administrative expenses, they may use up to 3% of the total grant amount but must match these additional expenditures dollar-for-dollar.
Authorization: This program was created by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C §§ 5301-5321; and the implementing regulations can be found at 24 CFR 570.
If you have any trouble accessing the website link above, please find here an archived page. This archived page may, however, have more limited functionality. http://web.archive.org/web/20170129233825/https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/communitydevelopment/programs
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1. HUD Exchange, CDBG Entitlement Program Eligibility Requirements, https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/cdbg-entitlement/cdbg-entitlement-program-eligibility-requirements/
2. For the purposes of the CDBG program, a “low- and moderate-income person” means a member of a family having an income equal to or less than the Section 8 low-income limit established by HUD every year. 24 C.F.R. § 570.3. Generally, a Section 8 low-income family is one whose annual income does not exceed 80% of the median income for the area, adjusted for family size. 42 U.S.C. § 5302(a)(20)(A). In fiscal year 2013, a family of four having an income less than $66,750 qualifies as a CDBG low- and moderate-income family in the District of Columbia. U.S. HUD, FY 2013 Income Limits Documentation System, available at http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il2013/2013summary.odn (last updated Dec. 11, 2012).
3. 42 USC § 5305; see also HUD, Basically CDBG (May 2014); available at: https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/19/basically-cdbg-training-guidebook-and-slides/
4. Cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), other metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000, and urban counties with populations of at least 200,000 (excluding entitled cities) are all eligible to receive annual grants.
5. Consolidated plan requirements are described at 24 CFR § 91.1 et seq.