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HUD Community Development Block Grant

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The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a HUD funded program that aims to provide communities with resources to help address their community development needs. As a flexible spending program, CDBG is administered through seven program areas outlined below:

  • CDBG Entitlement Program, which is designed for population dense cities and counties, otherwise known as Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA);
  • CDBG State Program, which allows states to distribute grants to local governments;
  • CDBG HUD Administered Non-Entitled Counties in Hawaii Program, which is specifically for the Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui counties;
  • CDBG Insular Area Program, which provides grants to American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands;
  • CDBD Program Colonias Set-Aside, which is earmarked for Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to use a specified percentage of their CDBG funds to meet the needs of residents that occupy areas bordering Mexico;
  • Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program, which is the loan guarantee provision of CDBG; and
  • The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which focuses on helping communities purchase and redevelop homes that are foreclosed and abandoned.

Any activity that is performed through CDBG must meet at least one of the following national objectives: benefit low- and moderate-income residents, prevent or eliminate blight or and areas of distressed housing, or address urgent community development needs, where these conditions pose a serious threat to the health or welfare of the community, and for which other funding is not available. In addition, over the lifetime of the grant, which may be one, two, or three-years, at least 70% of CDBG funds must be used to benefit low- and moderate-income persons. If these two requirements are met, CDBG funds can be used flexibly.

State and local participating jurisdictions (also called PJs) are also required to develop a 5-year Consolidated Plan that describes program activities, lays out funding allocations and outlines implementation plans. The Consolidated Plan process provides an important opportunity to advocate, during the public comment period, for lead poisoning prevention and funding for lead hazard remediation to be included in the local PHA or housing department’s priorities. For more information related to the required Consolidated Plan, review HUD’s budget allocation website.

The allowable uses for CDBG funds are broad and includes the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing and the remediation of lead-based paint hazards. The primary CDBG programs to target for lead hazard reduction funding are the CDBG Entitlement Programs and the CDBG State Programs. The CDBG Entitlement Programs are often operated by local City and County housing departments where applicants can apply for lead hazard reduction grant funding directly through the annual CDBG application and award process. Applicants should monitor the CDBG public announcements of the local application period for any such funding.

Since CDBG is a flexible grant program, many jurisdictions can utilize CDBG funds for direct lead hazard reduction activities or as match for HUD’s LHC, LHRD, or LHR lead grant programs including CDBG State Programs allocations to support local lead hazard remediation. Funding for lead efforts can be approved if done during the planning processes of either the consolidated plan or the annual action plans. The CDBG regulations require that any projects that disturb paint above the de minimus level must comply with the Lead Safe Housing Rule including pre-inspection, lead safe work practices and post intervention clearance inspection requirements.

Strategic Implementation

Deploying CDBG funds to address lead hazards in homes within your community requires the following strategic steps:

  1. Read the current, local 5-year Consolidated Plan and annual Action Plan updates and identify the use of the funds in your state and community by the local administering agency. Contact information for your state, county or city’s administering CDBG agency is here: com. In addition, states and participating jurisdictions are required to post their Consolidated Plans both digitally and physically in a public forum.
  2. It is beneficial to attend any public hearings on CDBG and provide testimony for why CDBG funds are needed for lead hazard activities in the jurisdiction or at an increased amount. If CDBG funds are not allocated to lead hazard remediation in your state or jurisdiction, make the case to the appropriate administrative agency that using CDBG funds to improve housing health and safety leads to positive community-level outcomes via improved individual health and educational outcomes, improved housing and neighborhood stability, long-term reduction in special education, criminal justice and other costs, and increased tax revenue as a result of avoided loss of IQ from lead exposure.
  3. If your jurisdiction is eligible to receive CDBG but does not currently receive lead hazard reduction funding (either through the state or directly from HUD), contact the administrating agency to find out more about the application process which may vary depending on the jurisdiction. Submitting an application that outlines the plan of action for using CDBG funds for lead hazard remediation activities, specifies how the action plan meets at least one of the three national objectives for CDBG as well as local needs, and adheres to the protocols of the application process. Some jurisdictions have also steadily increased their annual CDBG appropriations for lead hazard reduction intervention activities after witnessing the benefits of lead hazard control grants and increased investments in reducing lead poisoning, increasing family housing stability and reducing neighborhood blight.


Two examples of a successful use of CDBG funding for lead hazard reduction are with Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development’s LIGHT and Lead Hazard Reduction Grant programs, where CDBG funds support lead hazard control activities by DHCD and local non-profit CDBG grantees. The CDBG funds are used as match funding for the HUD LHRD lead grant program that is part of the City’s LIGHT and Green, Healthy and Sustainable Division programs. GHHI receives $185,000 annually in CDBG funding as a non-profit grantee to conduct lead hazard reduction and healthy homes interventions by its in-house GHHI Baltimore hazard reduction crew in the homes of low-income families. GHHI’s CDBG funding also provides relocation assistance grants for the temporary relocation of families while lead hazard control work is being undertaken in their home or permanent relocation to lead certified housing for other families to move from lead hazardous housing to lead certified housing.

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