Community Block Grants

Human Services

Community block grants

Community Block Grants

The Community Development Block Grant is a federally funded grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is aimed at assisting low to moderate income communities with community development projects to enhance the quality of life. Fulton County is designated by HUD as an Entitlement Community and annual administrator of the CDBG program.

Community Block Grants

What type of programs and projects are eligible for the CDBG funds?

CDBG funds can be used for a wide range of activities such as social services, public facility and infrastructure improvements, demolition, acquisition of real property, code enforcement and housing rehabilitation.

What activities generally cannot be funded using CDBG funds

  • Assistance for buildings or portions of buildings used for the general conduct of government.
  • General local government operating and maintenance expenses
  • Partisan political purposes, including voting registration
  • Equipment purchases
  • New housing construction
  • Program administration

What is the annual CDBG Program Cycle?

Fulton County issues public notice that applications are available during a set period of time; applications are available on the Fulton County website; and mandatory application workshops are facilitated

What determines if a project is primarily eligible for CDBG funding

  • Each project or program activity must be within HUD program regulations and meet one of CDBG national objectives:
  • Low to Moderate Income Persons or Households
  • Low to Moderate Area Benefit
  • Low to Moderate Limited Clientele
  • Urgent Need
  • 70% of all CDBG funding allocated each year must provide a benefit to low and moderate income persons of the CDBG national objective.
  • The program or project should address one of the priority needs that are established in the 5 Year Consolidated Plan of Fulton County’s Department of Community Development.
  • A program or project activities must principally benefit low to moderate income persons where at least 51% of the persons or households that benefit from the activity have an annual income that is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines low and moderate as a household that is at or below 80% of the median income for the area. These income guidelines are adjusted annually.

What special regulations apply to various types of projects that can be funded?

  • Public Facilities/Infrastructure Projects. Parks, sidewalks, community centers are all examples of eligible public facility projects. Eligibility requirements for park and sidewalk projects include:
  • Low to moderate Service Area. The area to be served by the projects (where people live who will use the facility) must a have an overall low to moderate population of at least 51%.
  • Residential Area. The service area must be primarily residential in nature.
  • Low to moderate Clientele. At a minimum, 51% or more of the people using the facility must be low to moderate income with documentation required.
  • Public Service Programs. (funding programs that benefit low to moderate income individuals)
  • Funding Cap. HUD limits the funding of public service category programs to 15% of the annual allocation.
  • Program Beneficiaries. 51% or more of the beneficiaries must be from a low to moderate household.
  • Housing Activities
  • Income Eligibility. The family or person receiving direct assistance must provide extensive documentation to show that their annual income does not exceed the income limits.
  • Lead Paint. For housing rehabilitation, each single family house built on or before 1978 must be tested for lead paint. The type of remediation required in this instance is based on the amount of CDBG funds used in the project.
  • Davis Bacon Act. For rehabilitation projects, if more than 7 houses are included in the program, the entire project must comply with Davis Bacon Act, which is a federal wage rate and certified payroll compliance.
  • Clearance Activities
  • The County uses this category or activity to fund the demolition of unsafe structures, as substandard structures that have a negative effect on surrounding properties. The National Objective typically used for these programs is the Prevention/Elimination of Slum or Blight on a spot basis.
  • Rehabilitation. The rehabilitation of buildings under this national objective is permitted, but only to the extent necessary to eliminate specific conditions detrimental to public health and safety.

When can CDBG funds be used?

Funds for the new program year are available after HUD has approved Fulton County’s Annual Action Plan, and a contract or award has been executed between Fulton County and HUD.

When are funds obligateD?

  • No CDBG grant funds may be obligated by a Sub-recipient until both Fulton County and the Sub-recipient have executed a Contract Agreement prepared by the Department of Community Development and the Fulton County Attorney.
  • Each project or program must have an Environmental Review, which is completed by the Department of Community Development and an environmental clearance is complete, and as necessary, an approval has been provided by HUD.