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Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs)

Health Factors: Housing & Transit
Decision Makers: Community Development Professionals Local Government State Government Federal Government
Evidence Rating: Some Evidence
Population Reach: 50-99% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (US HUD’s) Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs) fund local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development. Federal CDBG funds are provided directly to designated “entitlement” communities, which include central cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), cities with populations of at least 50,000, and qualified urban counties with populations of 200,000 or more. States also receive federal funds to distribute to their smaller towns and rural counties. Funds must be used to benefit low income people, prevent or eliminate slums and blight, or meet emergency needs. Communities affected by major natural disasters may receive CDBG funds through special congressional appropriations (Rohe 2014US HUD-CDBG).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Improved housing conditions
Increased housing stability
Improved neighborhood quality

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is some evidence that Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs) improve housing quality, housing stability, and neighborhood quality in low income urban areas (Rohe 2014Galster 2005Urban-Walker 2002Urban-Walker 1994). Additional evidence is needed to confirm effects and determine which approaches are most effective (Collinson 2014).

CDBGs have been associated with improvements in neighborhood quality indicators including home purchase mortgage approval rate, median amount of home purchase loan, and number of businesses in a neighborhood in a number of cities, especially when expenditures are concentrated in targeted areas (Galster 2005Urban-Walker 2002). In neighborhoods with highly concentrated poverty, higher CDBG spending appears to improve neighborhood quality more than lower levels of spending (Galster 2005). CDBG support may also encourage neighborhood homeowners to invest in their own properties, improving real estate markets over time (Pooley 2014Rohe 2014).

Some evaluations suggest that CDBGs could be adjusted to better benefit communities with the lowest incomes, factoring in local capacity for community development (Collinson 2014Rohe 2014, Pooley 2014Rich 2014). CDBGs appear to be cost effective investments, contributing more than twice the grant amount to local economies (IHS Global 2011).

Implementation

United States

CDBGs are available in all 50 states (US HUD-CDBG profiles). Federal HUD allocations to “entitlement” communities are available by state, community, or organization on the HUD website (US HUD-CDBG grantees).

Wisconsin

There are multiple CDBG projects throughout the state (WI DOA-CDBG). As a designated “entitlement” community, Madison, for example, receives CDBG funds directly from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (US HUD-CDBG). Dane County’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development manages CDBG funds that can be used by Dane County residents living outside of the City of Madison (Dane County-OEWD).

Implementation Resources

NLIHC-Advocates Guide 2016 - National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). The advocates' guide to housing and community development policy. 2016. Accessed on October 20, 2016
SC-CDBG - South Carolina Department of Commerce. South Carolina Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Accessed on July 27, 2016
US HUD-CDBG - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG). Accessed on February 23, 2017
US HUD-Toolkit - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Economic development toolkit. Accessed on February 27, 2017

Citations - Description

Rohe 2014* - Rohe WM, Galster GC. The Community Development Block Grant program turns 40: Proposals for program expansion and reform. Housing Policy Debate. 2014;24(1):3-13. Accessed on July 27, 2016
US HUD-CDBG - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG). Accessed on February 23, 2017

Citations - Evidence

Collinson 2014* - Collinson RA. Assessing the allocation of CDBG to community development need. Housing Policy Debate. 2014;24(1):91-118. Accessed on August 31, 2016
Galster 2005* - Galster G, Walker C, Hayes C, Boxall P, Johnson J. Measuring the impact of Community Development Block Grant spending on urban neighborhoods. Housing Policy Debate. 2005;15(4):903-34. Accessed on July 27, 2016
IHS Global 2011 - IHS Global Insight. Community Development Block Grants: Impacts on metro economies preliminary report. Lexington: IHS Global Insight, Inc; 2011. Accessed on July 27, 2016
Pooley 2014* - Pooley KB. Using Community Development Block Grant dollars to revitalize neighborhoods: The impact of program spending in Philadelphia. Housing Policy Debate. 2014;24(1):172-191. Accessed on July 27, 2016
Rich 2014* - Rich MJ. Community Development Block Grants at 40: Time for a makeover. Housing Policy Debate. 2014;24(1):46-90. Accessed on July 27, 2016
Rohe 2014* - Rohe WM, Galster GC. The Community Development Block Grant program turns 40: Proposals for program expansion and reform. Housing Policy Debate. 2014;24(1):3-13. Accessed on July 27, 2016
Urban-Walker 1994 - Walker C, Dommel P, Hatry HP, Bogdon A, Boxall P. Federal funds, local choices: An evaluation of the Community Development Block Grant Program. Washington, DC: Urban Institute; 1994. Accessed on July 27, 2016
Urban-Walker 2002 - Walker C, Hayes C, Galster G, Boxall P, Johnson J. The impact of CDBG spending on urban neighborhoods. Washington, DC: Urban Institute; 2002. Accessed on July 27, 2016

Citations - Implementation

Dane County-OEWD - Dane County Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD). Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Programs. Funding for use by Dane County residents living outside the City of Madison. Accessed on August 1, 2016
US HUD-CDBG - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG). Accessed on February 23, 2017
US HUD-CDBG grantees - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD), HUD Exchange. About Grantees: view Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees by location or organization. Accessed on February 23, 2017
US HUD-CDBG profiles - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) performance profiles. Accessed on February 24, 2017
WI DOA-CDBG - Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA). Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)-Small cities housing program. Accessed on August 1, 2016

Page Last Updated

July 27, 2016

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