THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM

What is the CDBG Program?

CDBG is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that allocates funding annually to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, targeting three national objectives:

1. Benefiting low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents.
2. Preventing or eliminating blight.
3. Meeting urgent needs.
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) allocates CDBG funding to counties to expend on eligible projects and activities.

Who is eligible to apply?

The County applies annually to DCED.

  • Public Authorities and Municipalities with populations less than 10,000 must apply to the County Commissioners.
  • Nonprofit entities operating public facilities in LMI areas, or serving seniors, persons with disabilities, the homeless, victims of domestic violence and other protected groups must apply to the Commissioners.
  • The Commissioners may initiate projects that have countywide benefit.

What kinds of projects are eligible?

Projects must meet one of the three national objectives stated above, and be permitted by the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 24, Chapter 570.

What other factors affect eligibility?

  • The area served must be an LMI area: that is, 51% or more of its residents must be deemed low income, according to HUD’s annual income limits. This determination is made using:
    • HUD-provided municipal LMISD tables, taken from the federal census and the American Community Survey; or
    • An income survey of the project area; or
    • In some other limited instances, individual income documentation.
    OR
  • The activity or project must serve a “presumed benefit” group such as disabled adults, homeless persons, the elderly, victims of domestic violence, and others.

Who decides whether a project or activity is eligible under the program?

Project research and scoring is conducted by the Grants Administrator in the Planning Department.

Who decides which projects are submitted to DCED in the annual application?

The Board of County Commissioners. Selected projects are publicly announced at a regular board meeting.

What is the application process?

Upon notification of readiness of the annual allocation from DCED, the Grants Administrator will send a launch letter, with the application schedule and due dates, to all municipalities and eligible nonprofits. The announcement and application packet will at the same time be posted online on the Clinton County news feed.

How much time is allowed to undertake a project?

The project activity period is 18 months from the date the Commissioners enter into a subcontract with the awardee for CDBG funds. It is strongly recommended that engineering/project design get underway before the subrecipient agreement is awarded, to allow ample time for construction.

How is the program kept fair and accessible to all?

Clinton County has instituted plans and procedures to keep its activities in conformance with Federal law, covering the following issues:

  • Citizen Participation
  • Citizen Complaint Resolution
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Grantee Integrity
  • Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity
  • Section 3 Business and Resident Opportunity
  • Fair Housing and Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Displacement and Relocation
  • Accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • Accessibility for persons with limited English proficiency

What is the environmental impact of CDBG projects?

Federal law requires that the environmental impact of every CDBG project be evaluated and proven to have no adverse effect. Any detected adverse effects must be addressed or eliminated prior to undertaking the project.