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About Rural Texas CDBG

Funding Source

Every year, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development provides federal Community Development Block Grant funds directly to states, which, in turn, provide the funds to small, rural cities with populations less than 50,000, and to counties that have a non-metropolitan population under 200,000 and are not eligible for direct funding from HUD. These small communities are called "non-entitlement" areas because they must apply for CDBG dollars through the Texas CDBG program. Larger cities, such as Dallas, Houston and others, receive CDBG monies directly from HUD, and are called "entitlement" areas.

History

The CDBG program is governed by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (the Act) and Federal regulations at 24 CFR 570, Subpart I . The introduction of the CDBG program in 1974 signaled a move away from individual categorized federal development assistance programs towards the block grant model, which gives communities broad latitude in using funds for a variety of development activities. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 authorized states to administer the CDBG programs.

CDBG Objectives

The primary objective of the Community Development Block Grant program is to develop viable communities by providing decent housing and suitable living environments, and expanding economic opportunities principally for persons of low- to moderate-income.
To achieve these goals, the CDBG regulations outline the eligible activities and the National Objectives that each activity must meet. As a recipient of CDBG funds, the state is charged with ensuring that these HUD requirements are met. Specifically, the state is responsible for assuring the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that each project it funds meets one of three National Objectives: Benefit low-and moderate income persons; Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; or meet a need having a particular urgency, which represents an immediate threat to the health and safety of residents.
In line with the federal objectives, the state administers its CDBG programs according to the following goals:  Improve public facilities to meet basic human needs, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. Improve housing conditions, principally for persons of low- and moderate-income. Expand economic opportunities by creating or retaining jobs, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. Provide assistance and public facilities to eliminate conditions hazardous to the public health and of an emergency nature.

Primary Beneficiaries

All projects funded through the CDBG program typically meet the first national objective (benefit low- and moderate-income persons) by benefiting at least 51 percent low- to moderate-income persons, which are defined as those who earn equal to or less than 80 percent of the area median family income figure (where the area is a metropolitan statistical area or a non-metropolitan county) or Earn equal to or less than less than 80 percent of the statewide non-metropolitan median family income figure, as defined under the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 Housing Assistance Program. For income eligibility in your area, please review the most recent Income Limits document.
Some projects funded through the CDBG program may meet the second national objective of aiding in the prevention or elimination of slum or blight while the remainder of CDBG projects will fall under the third national objective. The third national objective includes activities designed to meet community development needs having a particular urgency, which the CDBG Program applies to Disaster Relief and Urgent Need Fund projects.

Program Administration

The state of Texas administers its CDBG programs in accordance to funding rules and regulations set by HUD. Each year, it submits an Action Plan for the next fiscal year. The Action Plan describes the methods that will be used for distributing funds among the various CDBG programs, including award amounts per program, application selection process, etc. Once HUD approves the Action Plan it becomes codified into the Texas Administrative Code.
The TxCDBG program then makes applications available in accordance with each program's funding cycle. Applications received for competitive funding programs are reviewed and scored using program-specific criteria and processes.
Once awards are made from the CDBG program, contracts are executed between the department and the city or county officials, and the grantee begins the implementation of their proposed project. To guide grantees in the implementation of their projects, the grantees follow the CDBG Project Implementation Manual. The Manual describes the methods a CDBG grant recipient uses to administer the CDBG contract, and includes relevant forms. This document covers the post award process.

Regional Review Committees (Composition Role)

Each of Texas' 24 regional councils, known as Council of Governments, has its own Regional Review Committee (RRC). Each RRC is comprised of 12 local elected officials, appointed at the pleasure of the Governor.  The role of each Regional Review Committee is to participate in the process for determining regional scoring priorities for projects funded through the Texas CDBG's Community Development Fund, and is responsible for developing the objective scoring criteria.