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Competitive Process for Funding

Competitive Process for Funding

The Social Sustainability Department allocates City dollars through a competitive process for affordable housing programs and projects, and services by nonprofit agencies. This funding supports the four theme areas of the Strategic Plan: Community Wellness, Equity & Inclusion, Community Prosperity and Housing.

Eligible applicants are affordable housing providers/developers and nonprofit agencies with a 501(c)3 designation that support low to moderate income and/or special populations in Fort Collins. Individuals cannot apply. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Commission makes funding recommendations to City Council. City Council makes the final decision. Applicants who were funded by the City in previous funding cycles are not guaranteed funding in the current cycle. For more information about the Competitive Process contact Sharon Thomas at 970-221-6595 or c3Rob21hc0BmY2dvdi5jb20=.

There are three primary funding categories: Housing, Public Facility and Public (Human) Service.

HOUSING: this category may include acquisition and construction of affordable housing projects, land purchase, housing rehabilitation, certain “soft” costs related to affordable housing development, and homebuyer assistance programs. Properties must be located in the city limits of Fort Collins. For more information contact Beth Rosen at 970-221-6812 or YnJvc2VuQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==.

PUBLIC FACILITY: the Public Facility category refers to space for agencies that provide direct services to low- and moderate- income clients living in Fort Collins. This is a lower priority in the City’s federal Consolidated Plan; funding in this category is very limited. For more information and to determine if there are funds available contact Heidi Phelps at 970-221-6757 or aHBoZWxwc0BmY2dvdi5jb20=.

PUBLIC (HUMAN) SERVICE: this category includes nonprofit agencies serving primarily low-moderate income residents or special populations (abused children, battered spouses, adults with severe disabilities, etc.). While the agency does not need to be located in Fort Collins, those served with City dollars must be Fort Collins residents. For more information contact Sharon Thomas at 970-221-6595 or c3Rob21hc0BmY2dvdi5jb20=.

Funding for all categories occurs with the spring cycle and if funding is available an optional fall cycle will be conducted for the Housing category. 


Spring Process

January: Applications available online
February: Applications due
March/April: Applicants present projects to the CDBG Commission
April: CDBG Commission decides funding recommendations (deliberations)
May: Recommendations are presented to Council for approval
October: Funds are available to approved agencies and housing providers


Optional Fall Process

July: Applications available online
August: Applications due
September: Applicants present projects to the CDBG Commission
October: CDBG Commission decides funding recommendations (deliberations)
November: Recommendations are presented to Council for approval

Completing the Application

The application process is run through ZoomGrants™.To begin click here. There are two application types, Housing and Public/Human Service. Select the category that meets your proposal type. Public Facility applicants should contact Heidi Phelps at 970-221-6757 or aHBoZWxwc0BmY2dvdi5jb20=.

If you need assistance with ZoomGrants contact Janet Freeman, Administrative Assistant, at 970-221-6758 or amZyZWVtYW5AZmNnb3YuY29t.

After Your Application is Submitted

  • Staff, the CDBG Commission, and the Affordable Housing Board (housing applications) review the proposals.
  • Once the application has been submitted, applicants may only communicate regarding the application with Sharon Thomas, Competitive Process Manager.
  • Staff will contact applicants with the presentation schedule.
  • Presentations are given to the CDBG Commission.
  • The CDBG Commission formulates its funding recommendations through deliberations.
  • Applicants are notified of the outcome of the Commission’s deliberation session.
  • City Council holds a public hearing to make final funding allocation decisions.
  • Staff will work with grantees on additional due diligence items and contract execution.
  • Allocations are distributed as reimbursements either quarterly or monthly for nonprofit agencies, and as need for housing providers.

Resources for Applicants


  • All applications are submitted through ZoomGrants, a web-based application system. For technical help contact ZoomGrants at UXVlc3Rpb25zQFpvb21HcmFudHMuY29t. For questions regarding the application contact Sharon Thomas 9970-221-6595, c3Rob21hc0BmY2dvdi5jb20=) or Janet Freeman (970-221-6758, amZyZWVtYW5AZmNnb3YuY29t).
  • Be aware of the Pre-application Deadline – if you miss it, you cannot apply for funding in the current cycle.
  • Technical Assistanceoptional opportunity to meet with City staff to review your draft proposal before the submittal deadline. New applicants are encouraged to participate. If you are interested contact Sharon Thomas to schedule your technical assistance session. Designated dates will be published for each funding cycle.
  • Application Deadline – if you miss it you will not get funded. After applications have been submitted, applicants are not allowed to discuss their proposals with any City staff members except Sharon Thomas and not allowed to discuss proposals with Affordable Housing Board members or CDBG Commission members.
  • Required Documents
    • List of Board of Directors Qualifications/Relevancy – this includes names, company, contact information for all board members
    • Board of Director’s Approval of Submission (proof that the BOD approves of the proposal - can be meeting minutes, brief memo, email, etc.)
    • IRS 501(c)3 Designation – for nonprofit agencies
    • Certificate of Good Standing – for nonprofit agencies
    • Audit – a copy of your organizations most recent audit or financials
  • Affordable Housing Board – this group of citizen volunteers who are experts in the housing field provide a priority ranking of housing proposals to the CDBG Commission.
  • CDBG Commission – this group of citizen volunteers are tasked with reading all proposals, watching presentations by applicants, asking clarifying questions and finally making a recommendation to City Council as to which proposals should be funded. Questions may be submitted by the Commission for applicants to respond to.
  • Presentations to CDBG Commission – Each applicant will be scheduled by staff to make a five minute presentation to the commission. The Commission will have an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation - 15 minutes for Housing applicants and 10 minutes for Public Service applicants. The presentation dates will be published at the beginning of each funding cycle. Presentations begin at 6:00pm and may be scheduled as late at 10:00pm. If you have a conflict with any of the presentation dates, notify Sharon Thomas before the application deadline. 
  • Deliberations - The CDBG Commission meets to formulate funding recommendations. This meeting is open to applicants and the public. Applicants are not allowed to speak with CDBG Commission members until after the conclusion of approval of recommendations in each category.
  • Applicants are notified of the outcome of the Commission’s deliberation session by City staff in the days following deliberations. Please contact Sharon Thomas if you have concerns or comments about the recommendations for funding by the CDBG Commission.
  • City Council approval – Approximately one month after deliberations, City Council will vote on the funding recommendations by the CDBG Commission at a regular City Council meeting. Applicants are invited to attend the Council meeting.



  • Your proposal must align with the Affordable Housing Strategic Plan.
  • DUNS Number: all housing applicants must have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) to apply. To obtain a DUNS number, call 1-866-705-5711. Additional information can be found at
  • SAM Registration: all housing applicants must complete a System for Award Management (SAM) activation or registration. For first-time applicants, the process may take more than two weeks to complete. For more information visit or contact Heidi Phelps at 970-221-6757 or aHBoZWxwc0BmY2dvdi5jb20=.
  • Additional documents that may be required. Contact Beth Rosen to determine which documents are required for your proposal, 970-221-6812 or YnJvc2VuQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==.
    • Project Operating Budget Worksheet (download template from ZoomGrants)
    • Sources and Uses Worksheet (download template from ZoomGrants)
    • Funding Sources Summary (download template from ZoomGrants)
    • Board of Directors’ Acknowledgement (download template from ZoomGrants)
    • Letters of Financial Commitment From Other Funders (loan commitments or letters of interest)
    • Market Analysis, if required (upload)
    • General Information Notice (GIN); required for rehab projects and purchases with existing tenants (upload)
    • Census of Current Residents; required for rehab projects and purchases with existing tenants (upload)
    • Method of Delivery; required for rehab projects and purchases with existing tenants (upload)
    • Awarded funds are typically in the form of a due-on-sale loan.



  • Your proposal must align with at least one of the four theme areas of the Social Sustainability Strategic Plan.
  • Funds awarded in this category are one-year grants. The fiscal year begins October 1 and ends the following September 30.
  • All Grantees will submit invoices and supporting documentation through ZoomGrants by the 15th of the month. Grantees awarded City dollars will submit monthly; Sharon Thomas will be the Administrator. Grantees awarded federal CDBG money will submit quarterly; Heidi Phelps will be the Administrator.
  • Unless a grantee is designated a “Presumed Benefit” all grantees will be required to collect documentation of income of clients served and demographics. Contact staff for more information.
  • All grantees may be subject to a monitoring during the year by the Administrator.
  • Accuracy of invoices and supporting documentation and timeliness of submitting invoices will be tracked by staff and reported to the CDBG Commission. Consistent issues in this area by a grantee will be reported to the CDBG Commission and may affect future or current funding. 

Additional Information

Want to know more about the Competitive Process? Read the Competitive Process FAQs.