Community Development Block Program (CDBG)

Purpose

CDBG Partners with rural cities and counties to improve the lives of their low- and moderate-income residents through the creation and expansion of community and economic development opportunities in support of livable communities.

HUD Objective:  The primary federal objective of the CDBG program is the development of viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and through expanding economic opportunities, principally, for persons of low- and moderate-income. “Persons of low and moderate income” are defined as families, households, and individuals whose incomes do not exceed 80 percent of the county median income, adjusted for family or household size. 

Assistance Type

Grants, federally funded

Eligible Applicants

Counties with fewer than 200,000 residents in unincorporated areas and cities with fewer than 50,000 residents that do not participate in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement program.

Application Procedure

Each year, generally in January, the CDBG program releases one combined Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) encompassing all CDBG-eligible activities, including Community Development, Economic Development, and the Native American and Colonia Set-Asides. 

CDBG Programs

Community Development Allocation (CD -- formerly the General Allocation) Activities:

  • Community Development
  • Native American
  • Colonia
  • Planning and Technical Assistance

Economic Development Allocation (ED) Activities:

  • Over-the-Counter (OTC)
  • Enterprise Fund
    • Business Assistance
    • Microenterprise Assistance
    • Planning and Technical Assistance

Drought-Related Lateral Program

  • Lateral pipes and connectors
  • Connection fees
  • Abandonment of dry wells

Neighborhood Stabilization Program

  • All funding has been awarded. The Department does not anticipate future NOFAs.

CDBG Program Redesign

In order to respond to longstanding program expenditure issues, and State and federal uncertainties, HCD is redesigning the CDBG program.

In March 2017, HCD conducted four stakeholder meetings across the State to solicit input on the redesign and is currently accepting public comments.

Your Ideas Wanted! Please submit your ideas for:

  • Improving the expenditure rate of the CDBG program.
  • Streamlining CDBG program administration (at both the State and local level).

Send your ideas to cdbgredesign@hcd.ca.gov.

What's Next?

  • HCD is compiling public input from the March 2017 stakeholder meetings (as well as comments submitted by email) to help inform a "framing document."
  • HCD will draft a "framing document" that will guide the program redesign.
  • The framing document will be released this spring, followed by another public comment period.

Map of CDBG Contract Management Representatives (by County)

Advisory Committee

The role of the CDBG Advisory Committee is to provide input and recommendations to the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) on the CDBG Program that are consistent with federal requirements and result in good policies, procedures and regulations designed to benefit low- to moderate-income individuals residing in non-entitlement communities of California. The CDBG Advisory Committee members’ roles include the following:

  • Serve as an advocate for ALL non-entitlement jurisdictions, including non-federally recognized tribes and Colonias;
  • Advise HCD and CDBG staff on issues that impact the mission, goals, and strategies of the CDBG non-entitlement program;
  • Provide effective recommendations to address the needs of low- and moderate-income people while considering broader community, housing, and economic development goals of participating communities;
  • Share information about the CDBG program to help educate stakeholders;
  • Provide the expertise and knowledge outside of State government;
  • Notify HCD of solicitations for technical assistance received by members; and
  • Serve as a consultative group on new policies, planning issues, program changes, and activities.

CDBG Advisory Committee Members

A. ED and CD groups will be permanently combined into one CDBG Advisory Committee.

B. The Committee will meet a minimum of once per year, prior to finalizing the NOFA (August — October).

  1. Should the CDBG Program begin a regulation change process, additional committee meeting(s) will be scheduled.
  2. Any other additional committee meetings will require preapproval from the Assistant Deputy Director/Deputy Director.

C. Annual CDBG Advisory Committee meeting will be held in conjunction with the NOFA Roundtables (a minimum of 4 state-wide), so that the Department can reach a larger group of CDBG constituents, allowing for more diverse comments from the field.

D. The CDBG Advisory Committee is to be made up of a maximum of 15 members, from the following representational priorities (individuals can represent more than one priority below):

  1. Large County
  2. Small County
  3. Large City
  4. Small City
  5. Southern California
  6. Northern California
  7. Mountain California
  8. Central California
  9. Coastal California
  10. Non-Profit Housing Organization
  11. Non-Profit Economic Development Organization
  12. Housing Contract Administrator
  13. Economic Development Administrator
  14. City Activity with Economic Development Activities
  15. County Activity with Economic Development Activities
  16. Colonia
  17. Native American
  18. Economic Development Underwriting Consultant
  19. City Manager
  20. County Administrator

E. Selection based on:

  1. The above qualifiers;
  2. Experience in the State non-entitlement CDBG Program; and
  3. Individual’s demonstrated skills in working and participating in a group setting and with the Department.

F. The CDBG Advisory Committee will serve for a three year period.

  1. After each 3 year term, the Department will reopen all committee seats and send out a request for committee member volunteers.
  2. Those presently serving may reapply.

G. Recruitment for participation on the Committee:

If you would like to be considered for membership on the CDBG Advisory Committee, use the State CDBG Advisory Committee Application Form (DOC).

H. The Assistant Deputy Director/Deputy Director will approve all CDBG Program-recommended members once the new recruitment is complete.

Consultants

Disclaimer:  The following consultant lists are provided for informational purposes only.  HCD does not endorse the consultants and no formal review or certification is required to be included in these lists.  Exercise due diligence in evaluating any consultant prior to selection.

The cost of a Labor Consultant is an eligible development expense. As a Grantee you are strongly encouraged to hire a consultant if your jurisdiction does not have existing staff capacity to carry out the rigorous requirements of Davis-Bacon Federal Prevailing Wage law.

Davis-Bacon & California Prevailing Wage Consultants - Revised February 2015 (PDF)

CDBG Davis-Bacon wage requirements are triggered by:

  • Housing projects with eight (8) or more total units in the project.
  • Non-housing projects such as public improvements or public facilities with $2,000 or more of CDBG funding in the project.

For more information on CDBG prevailing wage, go to the Labor chapter of the Grant Management Manual.

The cost of a qualified Relocation Consultant is an eligible CDBG project administration expense.  Grantees should hire a relocation consultant if the jurisdiction staff does not have experience with developing project relocation plans and executing the proper relocation process under the federal Uniform Relocation Act (URA) or Section 104(d).  Improper compliance with federal and State relocation law can open the Grantee to legal law suits and financial liability for unpaid relocation benefits. 

List of Relocation Consultants Serving California - Revised April 2015 (PDF)

CDBG Relocation/Displacement requirements are triggered by:

  • Any CDBG project performing activities that result in the “displacement of persons.”  Persons include a household, business, farm, or nonprofit organization.
  • One dollar of CDBG funds invested in a project will trigger review of relocation compliance based on the assumption that without the use of CDBG funds, the “person” would not be displaced.

Planning and Paying for costs of Relocation Benefits:

  • A project-specific relocation plan must be submitted and approved by the Department prior to release of project funds.
  • Costs of relocation assistance must be included in the project’s sources and uses and financial feasibility analysis prior to moving forward with development work.   
  • Payment of relocation assistance to displaced persons is a HUD CDBG-eligible activity that can be provided as a grant to the project.

For more information on CDBG Relocation, go to the CDBG Grant Management Manual (GMM).

Business Assistance Underwriting List - Revised August 2015 (PDF)

Solid commercial underwriting skills are critical when administering a local Business Assistance (BA) program or preparing an eligible Over-the-Counter (OTC) project funding proposal. Most cities and counties do not require their staff to have commercial underwriting skills, so consultants are needed to ensure BA programs and OTC projects are funding an eligible CDBG activity that meets all federal and State eligibility standards. Grantees should hire a BA underwriting consultant if the jurisdiction wishes to successfully complete CDBG ED projects and the staff does not have CDBG commercial underwriting experience. Hiring a consultant for this work does not mean that jurisdiction staff are free of project oversight and responsibility. Rather, jurisdiction staff must review and understand all the CDBG requirements for BA programs and OTC projects so they can examine and participate in the consultant’s work as a viable team member. This team includes HCD staff available to provide guidance on CDBG ED underwriting and eligibility standards.

Microenterprise Assistance Consultant List - Revised August 2015 (PDF)

Most cities and counties do not have staff with experience administering one or more of the microenterprise programs offered by HCD.  Consultants are needed to ensure micro programs are funding an eligible CDBG activity that meets required low/moderate income benefit national objective, as well as other federal and state eligibility standards.  Using a consultant for this work does not mean that jurisdiction staff are free of program oversight and responsibility. Rather, jurisdiction staff must review and understand all the CDBG requirements for micro programs so they can examine and participate in the consultant’s work as a viable team member. This team includes HCD staff available to provide guidance on CDBG eligibility standards.

CDBG Success Stories 2000-2010

Ten years of CDBG funding have benefitted non-entitlement communities throughout California.  Success Stories (PDF) highlights many of the projects through photographs and descriptions. 

Thirteen years of funding includes two California maps—one showing CDBG funding by county (PDF) and the other showing CDBG Awards 2000 through 2012 (PDF) by activity.

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Training Resources

HCD is contracted with the Cloudburst Group to offer webinar trainings on the CDBG Program. Cloudburst will be presenting the webinars troughout the coming weeks, after which, they will be posted here until May 31, 2017

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