Monday, March 3, 2014

Council to review CDBG to consider possible adjustment to funding balance between nonsocial and social projects


The Council will review Provo’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to consider an adjustment to the balance of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding between social and nonsocial uses of funding at an upcoming Council Meeting.

What is a CDBG?

A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a federal grant program managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These grants fund community development in the areas of affordable housing, anti-poverty programs and infrastructure development.  CDBG funds are allocated by the Council, utilizing the assistance of a citizen committee made up of Provo residents, who review funding requests and applications and then submit their recommendations to the Council.

More information about CDBG funding in Provo can be found here:  
Daily Herald, “What the Heck is a CDBG?” Feb. 2, 2014

What are the “social” and “nonsocial” funding categories?

CDBG funds are divided into two categories, social and nonsocial services. Spending on social services, or “public services” must adhere to guidelines set up by HUD, which specifies such funding may not exceed 15% of the grant. These public services are focused on providing benefit to moderate and low-income individuals and households.

Social funding organizations seeking funding from CDBG must also show that their use of CDBG funds will provide a new service, or show a marked increase in the present level of service above that which has been provided by state or federal funds in the last year. Some examples of social services which could be funded by CDBG include:

“...child care, health care, education, job training, public safety, fair-housing counseling, recreation activities, drug-abuse counseling...”
(Provo City RDA, Community Development Block Grant Overview, Provo.org)



Non-social funding focuses mainly on infrastructure development, economic development, and housing. Some examples of projects which may qualify for CDBG funding include:

“...acquisition of real property relocation and demolition, rehabilitation of residential and nonresidential structures, construction of public facilities and improvements (such as water and sewer facilities, storm drain improvements, street and sidewalk repair/replacement), economic development projects, parking structures, removal of architectural barriers, park improvements and equipment...and overall administration of the grant...CDBG funds may also provide assistance to profit-motivated businesses to carry out economic development activities. ”  
(Provo City RDA, Community Development Block Grant Overview, Provo.org)

Adjusting the Balance

In the Council’s Meetings on Feb. 18, 2014, the CDBG Social Service Committee’s recommendations were reviewed by the Council. These recommendations included a breakdown of possible levels of social or public service spending. The analysis offered a look at funding for social services at levels of 5%, 7%, and 10% of the total grant allocation. The Council asked for an analysis that included an option for a greater amount of social services spending, up to the 15% limit. This information will be presented to the Council at an upcoming meeting on March 4, 2014.

As public service CDBG funding increases, the amount allocated to non-social funding projects necessarily decreases.  Social service organizations also have the ability to raise other funds to provide services, while non-social CDBG projects do not.

Contact the Council regarding the CDBG social and nonsocial funding balance

If you have comments for the Council on how CDBG social and nonsocial funds should be allocated, please comment on this article, contact your Council representative directly here, or attend the Council Meeting on March 4, 2014