This Guide is designed to help state and local officials understand what activities are eligible to be assisted under the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and to guide them in interpreting the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (HCDA).
Chapter 1: Selecting Activities that Comply
Chapter 1 sets forth several key determinations that a grant recipient must make in order to be sure that a particular activity that is assisted with CDBG funds will be found to meet relevant program rules.
Chapter 2: Categories of Eligible Activities
This chapter describes the many categories of activities that may be assisted using CDBG funds. It also discusses a number of activities that may not be assisted with CDBG funds. Guidance is provided on documenting compliance and making the best choice for selecting the category in which to carry out an activity when more than one may apply.
This chapter describes separately each category of basic eligibility under the program, in the order of their appearance in Section 105(a) of the HCDA.
Chapter 3: Meeting a National Objective
The purpose of this chapter is to describe the criteria that must be met and the records that must be maintained in order for an activity to be considered to have met a national objective of the CDBG program. Additional information in the form of examples and tips is also provided.
Note that states can be more restrictive than the requirements set forth in the national objectives, so long as the State requirements do not contradict federal requirements. For example, a state may choose to fund only low- and moderate-income benefit activities. In addition, documentation requirements for local governments meeting national objectives are set by the state.
Chapter 4: Overall Expenditures Level – Benefit to L/M Income Persons
The purpose of this chapter is to describe the requirement that must be met with respect to the level of expenditures made for activities that meet the L/M Income Benefit national objective. Consistent with the primary objective of the Act, section 104(b)(3)(A) of the HCDA requires each CDBG grantee to certify that, in the aggregate, at least 70 percent of CDBG funds to be expended, during a one, two, or three program year period specified by the grantee for this purpose, will be for activities meeting the L/M Income Benefit national objective.
(This should not be confused with the requirement that each individual activity must meet a national objective, most of which require that at least 51% of the beneficiaries be L/M income persons.)
Since this requirement involves showing the percentage of total expenditures that are for certain kinds of activities, it is necessary to keep records to enable a computation that will yield that percentage. (Instructions on how to make this computation are provided later in this chapter.)