The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is a Federal grant program that provides funding for cities to address the causes and consequences of poverty principally through activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons. The program is one of the longest continuously run programs at the U.S Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). The Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA) is responsible for administering the City's formula-based annual CDBG award. CDBG funds can be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals and neighborhoods, including awards to local organizations, low- or no-cost housing rehabilitation loans and public infrastructure improvements. HUD regulations and Federal law determine which activities are eligible for CDBG funding. See HUD's CDBG rules and regulations. HUD defines low- and moderate-income as at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). These income guidelines are adjusted annually by HUD and are available here.
Malden's CDBG goals are established every five years as part of a strategic plan called the Consolidated Plan, which also covers the North Suburban Consortium's HOME Program. The creation of the Consolidated Plan is governed by the Citizen Participation Plan. Malden's annual CDBG budget is developed as part of an Annual Action Plan (AAP) proposed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council each year. Non-profit organizations, individuals, City departments and others can apply for funding by submitting applications to the MRA during the application period.
Annual Funding Process
- MRA issues public notice that applications are available during a set time frame of at least 30 days, usually in January and February. Applications are available at the MRA Office and on the MRA and City websites.
- MRA holds a hearing before applications are due to allow for technical questions on the application, input on community development needs and the AAP. MRA will also update the public on the progress of current year projects.
- Applications are submitted to the MRA Office in person or by mail.
- MRA reviews applications for completeness and eligibility/fundability.
- MRA holds a hearing during the application review process for community input and to review current year project performance and the status of Section 108 Loans.
- MRA presents recommendations to the Mayor. After any changes, the Mayor's CDBG budget is presented to the City Council for approval.
- The City Council has until May 15 to approve the CDBG budget.
- MRA prepares an AAP and makes the draft available for 30 days for public review and comments.The AAP, which includes the approved CDBG budget, is sent to HUD. HUD has 45 days to review the AAP and request additional information, if necessary.
- On or after July 1 in the new program year, HUD and the City, through the MRA, execute a contract and funding is made available.
- MRA prepares an end of year report, the Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER) for the program year ending June 30.
- The CAPER is made available for 15 days for public review and feedback. After this period, the CAPER is submitted to HUD. HUD has 45 days to review the CAPER and request additional information, if necessary.
Section 108 Loans
The Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program allows cities that receive annual CDBG funds to take out a Federal loan paid for by the community’s CDBG funding. Section 108 Loans must meet eligibility requirements for the CDBG Program and are paid back using the City’s CDBG budget.
The Federal CDBG Program regulations are extensive. The following may help identify projects that may be eligible.
Every project (or "activity") must meet one of the following three National Objectives: benefit low- and moderate-income persons; aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; or meet an urgent need. 70% of total funding must benefit low- and moderate-income persons. Malden has no Federally-designated slums/blight and rarely has projects that could meet the strict criteria for urgent need so the vast majority of Malden's CDBG funding is spent to benefit low- and moderate-income persons. Low- and moderate-income means at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Different types of activities may have specific criteria, reporting requirements and funding restrictions.
The following activities generally cannot be funded using CDBG Program funds:
- Assistance for buildings or portions of buildings used for the general conduct of government.
- General local government operating and maintenance expenses. CDBG activities cannot supplant services or expenses currently paid for by local government.
- Partisan political purposes, including voter registration.
- Certain equipment purchases.
- Entertainment/refreshments - the cost of food, beverages, snacks and any related expenses for utensils, etc.
Information for Grantees, Subrecipients and Contractors
All grantees, subrecipients and contractors awarded contracts funded with Federal dollars or receiving CDBG funds must register with the Federal debarment clearinghouse System for Award Management (SAM.gov) and must provide proof of active status on SAM.gov in order to comply with Federal regulations. Registration is free and it takes approximately one month to become active with a valid DUNS number. If a grantee, subrecipient or contractor does not register, they will not be considered qualified and, therefore, will not be able to contract with the City of Malden or MRA for activities funded with CDBG and/or other Federal dollars. Get SAM.gov information and registration directions here.
Malden Redevelopment Authority Recipient of 2016 Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award