Federal Block Grant Funding has played a major role in urban redevelopment

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has funded development and redevelopment activities in urban communities across the nation since 1974.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was created in 1974 and is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is a formula-driven effort based on population. The CDBG program provides grants to more than 1,200 units of government annually. The program is administered in a variety of ways to local communities. Smaller urban communities access funding through state and county administered programs while large urban cities such as Detroit, access the program as entitlement communities. Entitlement communities have a population of at least 50,000 residents and are responsible for developing and administering the program. These communities work directly with HUD to develop plans to identify the programs and activities to be funded. The five-year development plans are called consolidated plans.

The city of Detroit has a 2012-2013 CDBG allocation of approximately 33 million dollars. Their total funding from the HUD exceeded 47 million dollars according to the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department HUD Consolidated Plan: 2012-2013 Draft Action Plan. Their CDBG, as well as other funding from HUD, are targeted for activities for low- and moderate-income families. The city’s overall goals are to preserve sound neighborhoods, redevelop housing in neighborhoods suffering from deterioration of residential housing stock and to redevelop neighborhoods with large tracts of vacant property.

The successful implementation of CDBG-funded activities will depend on the effective leveraging and coordination of private foundation and other funds needed to successfully complete projects. However, the primary funding for neighborhood development projects is the CDBG. These funds require public input on the projects selected to receive funding. Community-based non-profits can access these funds through a Notice of Requests for Proposals process. For many urban neighborhoods, these funds are critical for the redevelopment and revitalization process. These funds for some Detroit neighborhoods may be the difference in stabilizing and sustaining viable places for residents to live.

For more information regarding urban neighborhood development or to speak with a Michigan State University Extension educator, visit the MSU Extension website.

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