On February 27, NACo released an updated Community Development Block Grant: Guide for Counties presentation, which outlines the history, eligibility, funding levels and importance of the program for counties across the U.S. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a federally-funded grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development assisting state and local governments in improving housing and living conditions and providing community services for vulnerable residents.
The CDBG program was enacted in 1974 to provide block grant funding for community development programs to states and local communities. The program assists urban, suburban and rural communities to improve housing and living conditions and expand economic opportunities for low and moderate-income persons. CDBG creates jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses and helps local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities. Counties rely on the flexibility of CDBG funds to partner with the private and non-profit sectors to develop and upgrade local housing, water, infrastructure and human services programs and meet their unique community development needs.
The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to nearly 1,200 metropolitan city and county governments, as well as to state governments. About 200 counties receive these grants directly. Local entitlement cities and counties receive 70 percent of all CDBG funds, while states receive the remaining 30 percent. Entitlement counties are those with populations over 200,000, not including the population of metropolitan areas. Non-entitlement communities, such as rural counties, must compete for funding via the state formula allocation.
Currently, CDBG is funded at $3 billion under FY 2017 appropriations and has been funded through short-term extension bills while Congress debates FY 2018 spending levels. President Trump’s FY 2018 and FY 2019 budget requests proposed eliminating CDBG funding, placing a greater burden on state and local governments for community and economic development activities and redirecting federal resources to other programs.
NACo supports full funding for the CDBG program at $3.3 billion. Counties are encouraged to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support $3.3 billion in funding for CDBG in the FY 2018 and FY 2019 appropriations measures.