Community Development Block Grants

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a federal formula grant program that is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop (HUD). The program was created in 1974 and is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD.

CDBG provides flexible funding to state and local governments, which allows communities to address the needs they have identified based upon a wide ranging list of eligible activities. Local units of government administer these funds based on a Consolidated Plan for the jurisdiction, which determines the community development and housing activities they will undertake.

The main objectives of the program are to ensure safe and decent affordable housing, provide services to the most vulnerable members of the community, and create jobs through business growth. As part of the affordable housing activities allowed under the program, funds may be used for rehabilitation work on low-income homes.

Why is CDBG at risk?

Because CDBG is such a large program that provides flexible funding to local governments, it has been difficult to directly link this program to community improvements. As a result, CDBG has been placed on the list of programs at risk for funding cuts in today’s political climate. Funding for CDBG has been cut 26 percent, or $1.1 billion, since 2010.

Why does this matter to Rebuilding Together?

In order to accomplish the program goals identified through the Consolidated Plan, local governments often engage partner organizations in program activities through subgrants. These grants often go to nonprofit housing and social service organizations like Rebuilding Together to conduct housing activities and other community services.

In fact, 58 Rebuilding Together affiliates currently receive CDBG funding to support their work in the community. Loss of this funding could significantly decrease the capacity of our affiliates to serve their communities, leaving homeowners without the assistance they need.

What can I do to help?

Showcasing the work you are able to accomplish through these funds is a vital step in helping secure future funding for the CDBG program. When you have elected officials on your project sites or are meeting with them, please remind them of all you are able to accomplish through the support of CDBG.

You can also write to your Member of Congress and make them aware of the difference CDBG makes throughout communities nationwide – for homeowners, families, and Rebuilding Together’s mission. You can find a template letter here.