Apply for CDBG Funding

2020 to 2021 CDBG Funding Applications

To submit a CDBG Applications

1. The application deadline is 12:00 Noon on Friday, February 28, 2020 (in both paper AND electronic form).

2. Download the relevant application (above or www.northamptonma.gov/2081/Apply-CDBG-Funding).

3. Read the information below so you can describe what kind of project you have and ensure it is eligible.

4. Follow ALL instructions, complete in its entirely, and submit as detailed on the application.

CDBG National Objectives

Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended

  • Activities which benefit people with low and moderate incomes. People with low and moderate incomes are defined as those individuals or families whose annual income does not  exceed 80% of the area median income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Must be at least seventy percent (70%) of CDBG funds expended during the program yea.
  • Activities which prevent or eliminate slum and blight areas or spot blight. Slums or blighted areas and spot blight of specific conditions of blight of physical decay outside of a slum area,
  • Activities that address an urgent community development need (typically after natural disaster)- must pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community.

CDBG Eligible Activities to meet National Objectives 

  • Public Facilities and Improvements - acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of municipally owned facilities, except as noted below and facilities used by the public such as homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, halfway houses, group homes, temporary shelters for disaster victims, and handicap accessibility improvements at those facilities.
  • Public Services – programs that assist eligible populations with services such as job training and employment, child care, health care, drug abuse, education, fair housing, energy conservation, recreation and crime prevention (subject to cap of 15% of CDBG award).
  • Removal of Architectural Barriers - special projects to increase accessibility for those with disabilities.
  • Housing - projects involving acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, energy conservation, water conservation, housing program delivery costs and code enforcement.
  • Historic Preservation – not eligible except for buildings utilized for the general conduct of government.
  • Economic Development- acquisition, construction, rehabilitation of commercial or industrial buildings or structures, assistance to for-profit and non-profit entities which is necessary and appropriate, special or community economic development activities that provide a public benefit, loans/grants, job creation/retention, job training, micro-enterprise assistance.

CDBG Ineligible Activities  

  • Neither benefit low and moderate income persons nor address slums or blight
  • Improvements to buildings or portions thereof used for the general conduct of government, except for removal of architectural barriers or historic preservation.
  • General government expenses, including operation and maintenance. Political activities.
  • Rental assistance or other direct income payments to individuals.

Determining Project Eligibility  

  • Low and Moderate Area Benefit: the project meets the identified needs of L/M income persons residing in an area where at least 51% of those residents are L/M income persons according to the US Census Bureau. The benefits of this type of activity are available to all persons in the area regardless of income. Examples: street, park, and other infrastructure improvements.
  • L/M Limited Clientele: the project benefits a specific group of people (rather than all residents of a designated area), at least 51% of whom are L/M income persons. The following groups are presumed to be L/M, per HUD: abused children, elderly persons, battered spouses, homeless, handicapped, and illiterate persons. Examples:  all public services are L/M limited clientele.
  • L/M Housing: the project adds or improves permanent residential housing structures that will be occupied by L/M income households upon completion. Housing can be either rental or owner-occupied units in either single or multi- family buildings; rental units for L/M income persons must be available at affordable rents. Examples: acquisition of property, rehabilitation of existing housing, conversion of non-residential structures into housing. Note: New housing construction is generally not an eligible activity, although site acquisition and site improvements are eligible.
  • L/M Jobs: the project creates or retains permanent jobs, at least 51% of which are taken by L/M income persons or considered to be available to L/M income persons. Examples: loans to new businesses, assistance to existing businesses to expand operations.
  • Micro-Enterprise Assistance: the project assists in the establishment of a micro-enterprise or assists persons developing a micro-enterprise (a micro-enterprise is defined as having five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the business). This activity must benefit L/M persons or jobs as defined in previous sections.
  • Slums and blight area projects address areas with conditions of physical deterioration, decay and environmental contamination. Spot Blight project will prevent or eliminate specific conditions of blight or physical decay outside a slum area. Activities are limited to clearance, historic preservation, and rehabilitation of buildings, but only to the extent necessary to eliminate conditions detrimental to public health and safety.
  • Public facilities and improvements are eligible under 24 CFR 570.201 (c). Project descriptions must include the nature of the work to be undertaken and the location(s). Project descriptions must identify the specific activities to be carried out with CDBG funds to meet HUD regulatory requirements. Examples: Acceptable:  Street  improvements  consisting  of  sidewalk, paving, curb and gutters will be carried out at specific areas within low and moderate income neighborhoods.the following locations.
  • Public services are eligible under 24 CFR 570.201(e). Public services are required to provide a direct benefit to low and moderate income persons; therefore, each proposal must describe how low and moderate income populations will be targeted and documented. Public services do not include political activities, payments to individuals for  their food, clothing, rent, utilities or other income payments; physical improvements or any other activity qualifying as eligible under another category. The service provided must be specific and its targeted clientele clearly identified. (E.g., Acceptable: Senior Meals: Noon meals will be delivered Monday through Friday to approximately 80 senior citizens residing at Hampshire Heights-- Unacceptable: Senior Services: A variety of services will be offered to meet the needs of low and moderate-income elderly)
  • Housing activities may be eligible under several regulatory citations depending on the nature of the activity (acquisition, rehabilitation, construction, etc.). Housing activity descriptions must include information on the targeted population or areas (e.g., elderly, very-low income); the type(s) of units that qualify or will be affected (e.g., single-family, multi-family); and whether the assistance is for owner-occupied, renter-occupied or publicly-owned units.
  • Economic Development activities are eligible under 24 CFR 570.203, 570.204,  and 570.209. Criteria include: the project must be a “wise public investment” and provide a “public benefit”; the project costs must be reasonable and the project must be financially feasible; must meet the area benefit, create/retain jobs, or benefit L/M clientele. Some economic activities may be eligible under public improvements or planning/administration activities. (e.g., Acceptable: Business counseling and advocacy services to develop business and financial plans and  operating procedures will be provided to 20 micro-enterprise businesses meeting the L/M benefit criteria located or seeking to locate in Northampton.)

CDBG Outcomes Assessments  

HUD requires recipients of Federal funding to assess the outcomes of programs and activities. A Performance Measurement System has been designed to establish and track measurable goals and objectives. All applicants selected for funding will be required to comply with the Performance Measurement System. Choose one objective and one outcome.

OBJECTIVES :   The proposed activity meets which one of the following objectives? To answer, first determine the purpose of the activity and the larger community need to be addressed?

  • Create a suitable living environment- benefit communities, families, or individuals by addressing issues in their living environment (such as poor quality infrastructure) to social issues such as crime prevention, literacy or elderly health services.
  • Provides decent housing- meet individual, family, or community needs and not programs where housing is an element of a larger effort, since such programs would be more appropriately reported under suitable living environment
  • Creates economic opportunities- economic development, commercial revitalization, or job creation

OUTCOMES :    The proposed program will provide (select only one). To answer, first determine what changes are expected to occur in clients’ lives and/or the community as a result of this activity.

  • Availability / Accessibility- services, infrastructure, public facilities, housing, or shelters available or accessible to low/moderate income people, including persons with disabilities. In this category, accessibility not only refers to physical barriers, but also to making the affordable basics of daily living available and accessible to low/moderate income people where they live.
  • Improve affordability-  provide affordability in a variety of ways in the lives of low/moderate income people. It can include the creation or maintenance of affordable housing, basic infrastructure hook-ups, or services such as transportation or day care. 
  • Improve sustainability-  improving communities or neighborhoods, helping to make them livable or viable by providing benefit to persons of low/moderate income or by removing or eliminating slums or blighted areas through multiple activities or services that sustain communities or neighborhoods. 

Performance Measurement Outcome Statement: Summarize why the proposed activity is needed and what outcomes will be achieved from the proposed project. Outcomes are the changes you expect to occur in clients’ lives and/or community as a result of the proposed activity. A complete statement includes output (quantified) + outcome (from above) + activity (description) + objective. Examples: 52 households will have new access to public sewer for the purposes of creating a suitable living environment OR 7 households will be able to afford to live in rental housing units which  will be created through conversion of a former mill building to a residence for the purpose of creating decent housing.

DUNS Number

All recipients of CDBG funding will require a free Duns numbers from Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. This is a unique nine digit identification number for each physical location of your business. Getting a number can take up to three business days after you apply, and the application can be found on Dun & Bradstreet website. A step-by-step guide can be viewed here. You will need the following information to apply: 

  • Name of organization
  • Organization address
  • Name of the chief executive officer (CEO) or organization owner
  • Legal structure of the organization (e.g., corporation, partnership, proprietorship)
  • Year the organization started
  • Primary type of business
  • Total number of employees (full and part-time) 

If you do not know if your business already has a DUNS number, you can search on this site.