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.
TRAYLOR & Associates has worked actively with this Program since 1974, then called the “Texas Community Development Program (TCDP) ; one of only two or three firms whose existence goes back to the very beginning of the Program when communities received these grants directly from HUD. Traylor and Associates was actively involved in the transition of this Program from federal to state operation, which occurred in 1983, and was among the earliest advocates for the two-tiered selection process, involving regional peer review, that is still in use today.
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.
The TxCDBG has several “funds,” each of which has its own purposes and requirements, as follows: