Community Development Block Grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s  Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible formula grant program that provides states, entitlement cities, and counties with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.  Entitlement communities develop their own programs and funding priorities, but activities must meet one of the following three national objectives:  1) benefits low- and moderate-income persons; 2) aids in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; or 3) meets a particular urgent community development need where other financial resources are not available to meet such needs.

CDBG funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to

  • Acquisition of real property;
  • Relocation and demolition;
  • Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures;
  • Construction of public facilities and improvements; and
  • Economic development and job creation/retention activities.

Because of its great flexibility, CDBG funds can be used in conjunction with other Federal, state, and local programs, resulting in innovative initiatives that help local communities address gaps in their homeless services system.  One of the most common ways of using CDBG funds to support the development of permanent affordable housing is to use CDBG to acquire property on which permanent housing will be built using other resources.   Housing rehabilitation is also eligible under the CDBG program and may include the conversion of an existing, non-residential building into residential units.  CDBG may also be used to assist with the development of emergency shelters and transitional housing (considered public facilities), and to provide a wide range of services, including homeless prevention assistance.

View the program website

Eligible Applicants:

States and local governments are eligible to apply for federal CDBG block grants, and local nonprofit service providers and private firms are eligible to apply for sub-grants with the State or local government.

Eligible Beneficiaries:

All individuals and families who are homeless are eligible to benefit from CDBG-funded programs, particularly activities designed to meet the low/moderate income national objective.

Funding Mechanism:

HUD determines the amount of each entitlement grant by a statutory formula, which uses several objective measures of community needs, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.  To receive its annual CDBG entitlement grant, a grantee must develop and submit to HUD its Consolidated Plan, which serves as a jurisdiction's comprehensive planning document and application for funding under the HUD’s four Community Planning and Development formula grant programs (CDBG, HOME Investment Partnerships, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and Emergency Shelter Grants). 
States, localities, and metropolitan area governments then distribute funds to subgrantees based on the community’s Consolidated Plan funding criteria and priorities in their community.