Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

The CDBG program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG Program is one of the longest continuously run programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The CDBG program is authorized under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Public Law 93-383, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.

The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to States, larger cities, and counties for a broad range of activities that preserve and develop viable urban communities. HUD determines the amount of each grant by using a formula based distribution system comprised of several measures of community need, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing stock, and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.

How Grantees Receive CDBG Funds

HUD awards annual grants only after a grantee has submitted an acceptable Consolidated Plan. Grantees, like the City of Harlingen, use citizen participation and consultation with community organizations to identify local needs and priorities to prepare a comprehensive Consolidated Plan every three to five years. Each year, grantees are also required to prepare and submit an Annual Action Plan that outlines the intended use of all HUD-funded resources, including CDBG program funds.

Eligible CDBG Activities

CDBG funds may be used for a wide variety of activities that address the need for new or improved public improvements and facilities, economic development opportunities, improving the supply or condition of housing as well as carrying out public services. All activities that receive CDBG funding, however, must be both eligible within the program regulations published in the Code of Federal Regulations as 24 CFR Part 570, and meet one of the three National Objectives of the program established by Congress:
  • Meet an urgent community need that threatens the health or welfare of residents
  • Prevent or eliminate slum and blight
  • Provide a benefit to low and moderate-income persons
For each program year, the City of Brownsville Office of Grant Management and Community Development developed a the Letter of Intent for its HUD-based application processes for the CDBG Program.