Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), CDBG funds may be used for a wide range of activities, services, and projects. Grantee addresses define which organizations received the funds, but the geographic boundaries where disbursements are used may be different than the location of the organization receiving the funds.
What is a Community Development Block Grant?
The Community Development Block Grant program is a flexible program providing resources to communities to address a variety of community development needs. The program was established by the federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to help communities provide “decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities to persons of low and moderate income.”
How does it work?
The program is administered by HUD, which is responsible for establishing the requirements for the use of CDBG funds. These funds are then distributed to units of general local government and states on a formula basis that considers factors such as population and population growth in relation to other metropolitan areas, percent of the population in poverty, number of overcrowded housing units, and number of pre-1940 housing units. Units of general local government receive 70 percent of CDBG funds and states receive 30 percent. States are then able to distribute these funds to smaller cities and rural areas through a competitive grant process.
A grantee must develop and follow a detailed plan that includes and encourages the participation of the low and moderate-income community members impacted in the area where the funds are applied. Over a one-to-three-year period, 70 percent or more of the funds must be used for activities that benefit the targeted groups and meet at least one of the national objectives for the program.
Where CDBG investments have gone.
Total CDBG investments between 2010-2018.
By design, CDBG funds may be used for a wide range of activities, services, and projects. Grantee addresses are used in the map below, but the geographic boundaries where all disbursements are used cannot be determined exactly for all grants.
Where and how can it be used?
CDBG funds go to entitlement communities or smaller cities and rural communities through processes administered by State governments as described above. While states have a high level of flexibility in choosing which program activities meet the needs of their community, they still need to follow the national objectives and requirements of the program. Examples of eligible activities under the CDBG statute include but are not limited to housing services in connection with housing investment partnerships, construction of new housing, public improvements (streets, sidewalks, water and sewer lines), and community revitalization, fair housing counseling, comprehensive planning, and relocation assistance.
What are its intended outcomes?
The goal of the program is to benefit low-to-moderate income persons, help prevent or eliminate blighted areas, and meet community development needs that pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community. In Illinois, the program also seeks to strengthen community economic development through the creation of jobs, stimulation of private investment, and strengthening of the tax base; improve public infrastructure and eliminate conditions that are detrimental to health, safety, and public welfare; and conserve and expand the State's housing stock to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for persons of low-to-moderate income and the developmentally disabled.