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CDBG: A Tool for Local Government Solutions

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 19, 2018

The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) was created in 1974 to provide communities with the resources to address a wide range of local community development needs. The program funds workforce development, homelessness prevention programs, public works and facilities improvements, and services for the elderly, at-risk youth, and low- and moderate-income families across the country. NACCED members have been utilizing this important tool since its inception to solve a number of local housing, infrastructure, public facilities, and service needs. March is NACCED’s Community Development Month, so to celebrate, below are several NACCED member projects that utilized CDBG funds for a variety of essential local projects. 

DuPage County, IL “Home is Where the Heart is” Group Home Project

DuPage County, IL recently utilized CDBG funds to support the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Seguin of Greater Chicago “Home is Where the Heart is” Group Home Project. The county provided UCP Seguin with $300,000 in CDBG funds to acquire land to build an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant Integrated Living Arrangement group home for six extremely low-income adults with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. Located in a welcoming Villa Park residential neighborhood of single-family homes, the facility is close to main streets and arteries, with easy access to multiple community sites, such as shopping venues, restaurants, the library and churches. Residents are only a mile from their main day program site for UCP Seguin, the Rubloff Center for Employment & Life Skills Training where a range of individually-tailored services are offered. The CDBG funds helped provide the residents of this group home with much-needed housing as well as life skills training, enabling them to achieve their potential, advance their independence and act as full members of the community. 

Los Angeles County, CA ADA Sidewalk and Public Facility Program

The County of Los Angeles Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Sidewalk and Public Facility Program (Program) has addresses the enormous need throughout the County to improve sidewalks, parks, and other public facilities so they are ADA accessible. While sidewalk improvements don’t seem like a high priority need, the county has many sidewalks in unincorporated areas not designed and built with accessibility features. This lack of access could result in isolation, safety hazards or even injury for the over 960,000 people in the county with a disability—half of which have a physical disability that may limit their mobility.

There are also an estimated 433,073 disabled elderly residing in Los Angeles County.   Due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, the number of elderly residents will increase by 90% by 2023.  Given that high growth rate, the number of disabled elderly in Los Angeles County may reach almost 800,000 persons and the overall disabled population will reach 1.4 million in just six years.  This dramatic increase requires a committed investment of public funds to ensure that sidewalks, parks, libraries, community service and other civic centers are accessible to these citizens.  

CDBG funds are a key financing source utilized by many participating cities throughout Los Angeles County as a solution to address this need.  CDBG-funded ADA sidewalk and public facility improvements have allowed persons with disabilities to move around their neighborhoods safely and more efficiently and to have accessible parking, public buildings, restrooms, and other facilities in their communities.  The Program has been very successful in making infrastructure and public facilities accessible to meet this growing need.  During the past three years, over $4.7 million was expended to complete 32 sidewalk improvement projects and 9 public facility improvement projects that improved accessibility to 24 parks and other municipal facilities for nearly 51,000 disabled persons. 

City of Torrance, ADA Park Improvements at Torrance Park, Before and After

City of Spokane, WA Single Family Rehabilitation Program utilizing HOME & CDBG (Entitlement and Revolving Loan) Funds

In 1977, the City of Spokane used the relatively new CDBG program to start a Single Family Rehabilitation program.  This early program provided health and safety home repairs to a concentration of low-income homeowners in Spokane’s East Central neighborhood.  Since that time, the Single Family Rehabilitation program has expanded throughout Spokane neighborhoods where there are concentrations of low-income families and older homes needing costly upkeep and repair.  These repairs commonly include replacing roofs, updating electrical systems, and installing energy-efficient furnaces.  To date, Spokane has used CDBG and some HOME funds to rehabilitate 1,193 low-income homeowner homes. 

The City has also created a CDBG Revolving Loan Fund where loan repayments fund new home repair loans.  In calendar years 2015 – 2016, these revolving funds repaired 45 homes included 30 female head-of-household and 10 senior homeowners. The Single Family Rehabilitation program continues to provide unique and irreplaceable funding that allows low-income families the opportunity to raise families and age-in-place inside warm, safe, and healthy homes. 

Celebrate Community Development Week April 2-6, 2018!

Do you have great HUD projects to showcase? Share them during the 2018 National Community Development (CD) Week, April 2-6! This is a great time for grantees to meet with their members of Congress, showcase projects and programs, and involve the local community including businesses, citizens, and community groups in the week-long celebration. For more information on CD Week or to share your community's success stories, please contact NACCED Policy Director Heather Voorman at or by phone at 202-367-2405.

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