The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development manages programs for housing and community development that will benefit low- and moderate-income individuals, families and neighborhoods across the nation. The Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) seeks to develop viable communities by promoting integrated approaches that provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons.
The primary means towards this end is the development of partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector, including for-profit and non-profit organizations. One of CPD’s most important and visible programs is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. CDBG is an important tool that helps helping local governments address serious challenges facing their communities.
The CDBG program has made a difference in the lives of millions of people and their communities across the Nation.
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. In addition, each activity must meet one of the following national objectives for the program: benefit low- and moderate-income individuals, families and neighborhoods; prevent or eliminate 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.
CDBG funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to:
- 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; and
- assistance to carry out economic development and job creation/retention activities.
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; and
- construction of new housing by units of general local government.
The annual CDBG appropriation is allocated between States and local jurisdictions called "non-entitlement" and "entitlement" communities respectively. Entitlement communities are comprised of central cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs); metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000; and qualified urban counties with a population of 200,000 or more (excluding the populations of entitlement cities). States distribute CDBG funds to non-entitlement localities not qualified as entitlement communities.
HUD determines the amount of each grant by using a formula comprised of several measures of community need, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing, and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.
The grantee - such as the City of Oceanside - must develop and submit to HUD a five-year Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development that sets forth strategies and objectives that will address local needs and meet the National Objectives for decent housing, a suitable living environment and economic opportunity.
Each year the City prepares an Action Plan that details how the City will use CDBG and other federal, state and local funds to fulfill the objectives in the Consolidated Plan. At the end of each program year the City prepares a Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER) that shows how the City used the available funds, the performance (outcomes) of each activity, and evaluation (measurements) of the City’s progress toward meeting objectives in the Consolidated Plan. All of these documents are available on the City web site.
A grantee must also develop and follow a detailed plan that provides for and encourages citizen participation. This integral process 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 the following:
- reasonable and timely access to local meetings
- an opportunity to review proposed activities and program performance
- provide for timely written answers to written complaints and grievances; and
- 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
The Neighborhood Services Department manages the City of Oceanside’s CDBG program.
For more information call 760-435-3393.