Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

TheĀ Community Development Block GrantĀ (CDBG), one of the longest-running programs of theĀ U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funds localĀ community developmentĀ activities with the stated goal of providingĀ affordable housing,Ā anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development. CDBG, like otherĀ block grantĀ programs, differ fromĀ categorical grants, made for specific purposes, in that they are subject to less federal oversight and are largely used at the discretion of the state and local governments and their subgrantees.

More than 1,100 local and state governments, called “entitlement communities,” automatically qualify for the grant if they meet certain requirements, though they are required to submit allocation reports (showing to whom and where the money was spent) and quarterly reports to theĀ United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. First, ā€œnot less than 70 percent of CDBG funds must be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income personsā€. Secondly, funds must be spent on eligible activities, which are broadly defined as including ā€œcommunity development activities directed toward neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and improved community facilities and servicesā€. Such activities may include ā€œAcquisition of real property, Relocation and demolition, Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures, Construction of public facilities and improvementsā€, and more. Third, governments must follow a plan of project selection that includes citizen participation, especially by citizens who live in ā€œareas in which the grantee proposes to use CDBG funds.”

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