Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low and moderate-income persons. The Municipality of Princeton was notified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in September 2019 that it qualified as a "metropolitan city" based on population estimates and was invited to become an "entitlement community" beginning in 2020.

Nature of Program

HUD awards grants to entitlement community grantees to carryout a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services.

Entitlement Communities

Entitlement communities develop their own programs and funding priorities. However, grantees must give maximum feasible priority to activities which benefit low and moderate income persons. A grantee may also carry out activities which aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight. Additionally, grantees may fund activities when the grantee certifies that the activities meet other community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community where other financial resources are not available to meet such needs. CDBG funds may not be used for activities which do not meet these broad national objectives.

Activity Funds

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

  • Acquisition of real property
  • Activities relating to energy conservation and renewable energy resources
  • Construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes
  • Provision of assistance to profit-motivated businesses to carry out economic development and job creation/retention activities
  • Public services, within certain limits
  • Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures
  • Relocation and demolition

Requirements

To qualify for its yearly Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) award, a recipient must create and send a 5-year Consolidated Plan and an Annual Action Plan to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Additionally, recipients are required to produce an annual report assessing the performance of the previous year's grant, referred to as the CAPER or Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report.

Goals

In its Consolidated Plan, the jurisdiction must identify its goals for the CDBG Program. The goals will serve as the criteria against which HUD will evaluate a jurisdiction's Plan and its performance under the Plan.

Certifications

Also, the Consolidated Plan must include several required certifications, including that not less than 70% of the CDBG funds received, over a one, two, or three year period specified by the grantee, will be used for activities that benefit low and moderate-income persons, and that the grantee will affirmatively further fair housing. HUD will approve a Consolidated Plan submission unless the Plan (or a portion of it) is inconsistent with the purposes of the National Affordable Housing Act or is substantially incomplete.