The Community Development Block Grant Program was created by Congress under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. The primary objective is to develop viable communities, provide decent housing and a suitable living environment, and to expand economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees the Program. The CDBG Program is comprised of two parts; The Entitlement Program and the State and Small Cities Program. The City of Hopewell is an entitlement community that receives an annual allocation each year. HUD determines the amount of each entitlement grant by a statutory dual formula which uses several objective measures of community needs, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas. The City of Hopewell’s CDBG Program is administered by the Hopewell Department of Development.
Nature of Program
HUD awards grants to entitlement community grantees to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services. Entitlement communities develop their own programs and funding priorities. However, grantees must give maximum feasible priority to activities which benefit low- and moderate-income persons. A grantee may also carry out activities which aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight. Additionally, grantees may fund activities when the grantee certifies that the activities meet other community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community where other financial resources are not available to meet such needs. CDBG funds may not be used for activities which do not meet these broad national objectives.
CDBG funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to:
- acquisition of real property;
- relocation and demolition;
- rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures;
- construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes;
- public services, within certain limits;
- activities relating to energy conservation and renewable energy resources; and
- provision of assistance to profit-motivated businesses to carry out economic development and job creation/retention activities.
Generally, the following types of activities are ineligible:
- acquisition, construction, or reconstruction of buildings for the general conduct of government;
- political activities;
- certain income payments; and
- construction of new housing by units of general local government.
The Consolidated Plan is a five year outline of the goals and objectives the City has adopted to meet the housing and community development needs of its citizens. The Plan requires detailed analysis of the City’s past and current population, economic, demographic and social trends to make responsible decisions that will be most beneficial in improving the life of low-and-moderate income families, households and neighborhoods in the future. The Consolidated Plan planning process is designed to be a community wide brainstorming and visioning effort encompassing all citizens. It was not done in a vacuum, but has solicited the input of the City Council, citizens, community organizations, regional planning organizations, service organizations, and others. This document will take the reader through the process as it unfolded to city staff, beginning first with an overview of the management process.
Annual Action Plan
As the lead agency for the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the City of Hopewell’s Department of Neighborhood Assistance & Planning (formerly the Department of Development) is responsible for preparing the Annual Action Plan. The 2013 Action Plan describes how the City of Hopewell intends to utilize Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the 2013 program year, beginning July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2014. In adopting this Action Plan, the Hopewell City Council has attempted to meet a broad range of needs as established in the Consolidated Plan 2005-2010. These needs are in the areas of: Community Development, Housing, Homeless, Families & Individuals and Non-Homeless Needs. The City is excited about the programs and initiatives outlined in this program year. The 2013 Annual Action Plan is the fourth plan covered by the Consolidated Plan.
Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice
All localities that receive Federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are required to prepare an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (AI) every five years. The latest Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) was completed in 2010. It examines policies and practices that may limit the ability of Hopewell residents to choose housing in an environment free from discrimination. The purpose of the AI is to identify potential fair housing issues and impediments, and recommend possible actions that the City of Hopewell can implement, in order to assist the City in planning its fair housing activities over the next five years. This analysis assembles basic demographic, economic, and housing information about the City of Hopewell, identify and analyze barriers that may limit housing choice, and recommend possible actions to rectify impediments identified.
The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) documents the accomplishments of the City of Hopewell in carrying out the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for program year (PY) 2009-2010. This report contains performance information for the fifth year of the 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development. The CDBG Program represents critical resources that facilitate local efforts to address community development, affordable housing, and homeless assistance needs in the City of Hopewell.
During the reporting period from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, notable accomplishments included:
Community Development/Neighborhood Revitalization
- Funded an activity to improve inadequate infrastructure within the HUD designated low-and-moderate income area.
- Funded an activity to provide emergency home repair to low and moderate income households.
- Funded activities that provided child care as well as educational and cultural resources to low-and-moderate income children.
- Funded activity that provides screening, pre-natal care and referral for low-and-moderate income families, mostly single-parent mothers, who are said to be “at risk” for child abuse.
Funded activities that provided emergency rental assistance and utility payments for families that were facing homelessness.
- Funded and promoted homelessness prevention activities.
- Funded and supported the continuation of the provision of safe and sanitary emergency shelter that meet basic needs and provides necessary supportive services for homeless women and children.
- Funded and supported the coordination of services and programs for persons in danger of becoming homeless.
Grant administrator’s salary, office supplies, training, and other administrative functions.