The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is operated at the state level by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which uses federal funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The state CDBG program provides competitive grants to counties and municipal governments which are too small to be eligible for HUD’s CDBG entitlement program; which grants funds directly to the large localities.
A city government is eligible to apply to Georgia’s CDBG program if it has a population less than 50,000; unless it is the primary city of a metropolitan statistical area as defined by the US Census Bureau. A county government is eligible if it has a population less than 200,000.
Goals of the CDGB program
Projects funded with CDBG funds must fulfill at least one of the following objectives: It must benefit low to moderate income persons, prevent or eliminate slum and blight, or address community development needs which pose serious or immediate threat to the health of the community when other funding isn’t available. The recipient of a CDBG grant may select a one year, two year, or three year period at the end of which at least 70% of the beneficiaries of the project must be low to moderate income persons.
There are many different types of projects which can be funded using CDBG awards. CDBG funds can be used to buy property, rehabilitate residential and non-residential structures, and relocate or demolish structures. It can be used to construct public facilities such as water treatment plants and water lines, sewers, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of public schools for other public purposes.
Since 1981, Community Development Block Grants have been disbursed by state governments to localities. This method has helped bring the decisions about where to allocate funds closer to where the funds are needed.
Local matching requirements for CDBG
The maximum amount of funding for the CDBG annual competition is $750,000 for a single activity application and $1,000,000 for a multiple activity application. For the CDBG redevelopment and economic incentive grants, the maximum grant award is $500,000. There is a requirement for certain grant amounts to include matching funds from the local government. For grant awards up to $300,000 there is no match required. For grant awards from $300,000 to $750,000 there is a 5% local matching requirement ($15,000 - $37,500). For grant awards greater than $750,000 there is a 10% local matching requirement ($75,000 - $100,000). Local governments can contribute more to the total project cost but cannot contribute less than is required.
CDBG total awards and Fourth District Awards
Each year the Department of Community Affairs receives many more applications than funds available and it is up to the department to determine which projects should be funded. In 2014, $39.7 million was awarded to local governments across the state, in 2015, $36.8 million was awarded and in 2016, $37.7 million was awarded to local governments.
Between 2014 and 2017, the Fourth Senatorial District had several local governments apply for and receive CDBG grants. In 2014 Evans County received a $500,000 grant which was matched with $239,696 in local funds to perform drainage and street improvements. Emanuel County received $300,000 for an economic development initiative.
In 2015, the City of Collins received $500,000 and leveraged $133,509 in local funds for water infrastructure improvements. The City of Guyton received $436,706 and leveraged $62,614 in local funds for multiple infrastructure improvements. The City of Oak Park received $398,218 and leveraged $16,170 for drainage and street improvements.
In 2016, the City of Statesboro received $500,000 and leveraged $236,000 in local funding for multiple infrastructure projects. The City of Rincon received $500,000 for an economic development initiative.
In 2017, the city of Collins received $750,000 and leveraged $88,841 for sewer improvements. Rincon received $750,000 and leveraged $741,700 for water and sewer system improvements. Bulloch County received $750,000 which leveraged an additional $201,346, to assist with construction of a new senior citizens center. Bulloch County also received $500,000 for an economic development project.
For more information about the CDBG program in Georgia, go to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Website at http://www.dca.ga.gov/communities/CDBG/index.asp