What is CDBG?
CDBG stands for Community Development Block Grants, a federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Begun in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. HUD provides annual grants on a formula basis to Entitlement Communities and State Administered CDBG programs for rural communities. The CDBG program provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs, providing that the project meets one or more of HUD’s three defined National Objectives. Namely, a CDBG project must:
– Benefit to low- and moderate- income (LMI) persons, or “limited clientele” target groups that are deemed LM; or
– Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; or
– Meet a need having a particular urgency, especially one impacting public health and safety (referred to as urgent need).
Communities receiving these grants:
Entitlement Communities are larger cities with a population of a least 50,000 and qualifying urban counties with a population of a least 200,000 (excluding the population of entitled cities). Entitlement Communities apply directly to HUD for these grants.
State Administered Communities, also known as the Small Cities/Rural CDBG program, is administered by the state receiving the grant distribution from HUD. In Arizona, the state agency administering these funds is the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH).
Each year, Arizona receives an annual CDBG allocation from HUD. ADOH then divides 75 percent of that amount between four rural Councils of Government for the non-competitive Regional Account through a formula based 70 percent on the poverty level and 30 percent on population. ADOH retains 15 percent to fund competitive grant accounts: the annual, statewide State Special Projects (SSP) account and 10 percent for the bi-annual Colonias Set Aside Account earmarked specifically for the U.S.-Mexico border region.
SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO), one of the four rural Councils of Governments, covering Graham, Greenlee, Santa Cruz and Cochise Counties, receives a portion of these funds for the Regional Account (RA). Counties and municipalities within the region submit a Regional Account Application to SEAGO by July 1 of each year, per a rotation schedule called the Method of Distribution (MOD), which is adopted by the SEAGO Executive Board. Each of the four counties within the SEAGO region has elected to rotate the funding according to various schedules, rather than compete for the RA grant. Please see the current MOD for schedules.
SEAGO assists member entities with the required public participation, planning and budgeting processes. SEAGO also assists with writing the grant application and each entity has the option of contracting with SEAGO to administer their RA grant. Administration involves overall project management, including completion of environmental reviews, procurement of design and construction services, tracking all financial transactions, and overseeing compliance with federal labor standards and a host of other federal regulations. A typical RA grant takes two years to complete.
In addition to the Regional Accounts, the State has two competitive CDBG grant cycles that member entities can apply for, or at their option, can contract with SEAGO to assist with:
- State Special Programs Account (SSP) (annual)
- Colonias Set Aside Projects Account (bi-annual)
For more information regarding the SEAGO CDBG Program or Labor Standards Compliance, please contact Bonnie Williams, CDBG Program Manager at 520.432.5301 (ext 211), or Keith Dennis, Senior Planning Specialist (ext 203).