Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is the main program providing federal dollars to our community. Its purpose is to develop neighborhood approaches to improving the physical, economic and social conditions for lower income people in Fort Collins. For over two decades -- whether it's food distribution or daycare -- CDBG grants have provided valuable community services and responded to neighborhood needs.
The City of Fort Collins is a participating jurisdiction in the HOME program, a federal program designed to increase the supply of safe and sanitary affordable housing in the community. The Fort Collins HOME Program provides funding to income-eligible households for down payment and closing costs to purchase a home, and also provides funding to developers (both for-profit and non-profit) for the creation and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing and creation of new affordable owner-occupied housing.
The City allocates funding through a competitive process with two funding cycles each year, one in the Spring and the other in the Fall. The Spring cycle has funding available for public services, community development activities and affordable housing projects. The Fall cycle has funding targeted specifically for affordable housing projects.
The City uses a combined CDBG/HOME Program application for housing projects and a CDBG Program application for non-housing projects. Proposals are available twice a year. Projects are reviewed for complete information and project feasibility by staff and then are presented to the City's CDBG Commission, which reviews the applications and makes funding recommendations to the City Council.
Public participation in the CDBG and HOME Programs is encouraged for several aspects of the program, including the development of the Consolidated Plan, the Annual Action Plan, and the performance evaluation process. Public hearings are held in conjunction with these activities, and citizen participation is encouraged.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are an entitlement grant to the City of Fort Collins from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). When established in 1974, the primary objective of the program was to establish a broad framework for urban revitalization efforts while providing maximum flexibility on a local level. Currently, Fort Collins receives over $1 million each year to help make projects and programs happen!
Community Development Block Grant funds have been used by the City of Fort Collins in a variety of program areas. Four major categories which receive funds are:
- acquisition of land and buildings for affordable housing
- public facilities
- public service contracts
- planning activities
CDBG provides funding for everything from better housing, to daycare for children of working parents, to employment counseling for elderly persons, to shelters for the homeless, to installation of sidewalks, curbs and gutters in neighborhoods.
Individual projects must meet at least one of three broad national objectives in order to be eligible for CDBG funding.
- 1. Principally benefit low and moderate income persons
- In order for a project to benefit low and moderate income persons, it must provide a direct benefit to individuals who meet low and moderate income guidelines. Low income is defined as being at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area, based on household size.
- 2. Aid in the elimination of slums and blight
- Projects designed to aid in the elimination of slums and blight must be targets for an area which is documented as blighted and must address a specific blighted building, or buildings, and must address all blighting conditions.
- 3. Meet an urgent or unanticipated need.
- For a project to qualify as an urgent or unanticipated need, special approval must be obtained from HUD. Such projects are typically designed to alleviate a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of a community resulting from a catastrophic event.
Each project must additionally be evaluated for eligibility and compliance with labor standards, environmental regulations, and other federal requirements.