Major changes to 2021 Community Development Block Grant allocations under consideration; public comments strongly encouraged

The state of North Dakota is considering making two significant changes to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for 2021 allocations.

The state is considering changing the minimum grant a municipality can receive for public facilities, raising the amount from $25,000 to $75,000. The second change under review is raising the minimum grant for housing rehabilitation projects from $25,000 to $100,000.

The increased amounts will likely adversely impact many other smaller projects that have benefited from the program over the years. Smaller projects such as ADA improvements and upgrades to fire hydrants and water meters could be eliminated if the new minimums are implemented.

“There’s only so many funds available each year,” says LCD Group Community Development Coordinator Lyle Hogue.

“Lewis and Clark Regional Development Council is set to receive approximately $311,000 from the program for this year’s round of funding. Over the years, we’ve funded many projects for ADA upgrades, new emergency vehicle and equipment purchases, planning services, and other smaller but vital community infrastructure improvements. There is legitimate concern funding for these projects could be eliminated if the grant amounts for public facilities and housing rehab projects are increased.”

Hogue urges communities to share their views – both in favor and in opposition to the proposed changes – during the public comment period, which concludes this Friday, April 30.

City and county governments can review the draft plan at: www.communityservices.nd.gov/communitydevelopment/consolidatedplan.

Public comments need to be received by April 30th and can be sent to:

North Dakota Department of Commerce
Division of Community Services
P.O. Box 2057
Bismarck, ND 58502-2057

Comments can also be emailed to dcs@nd.gov.

“Once you get onto the site, you can scroll down and review the 2021 draft annual action plan. Page 173 addresses the proposed minimum changes for public facilities and housing rehab. I encourage local governments to share their views. This is something that’s too important not to weigh in on,” says Hogue.

About the Community Development Block Grant Program

The Community Development Block Grant Program is a long-running and successful federal program provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

CDBG funds support local community development activities with a stated goal of providing affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development. In contrast to categorical grants which are made for specific purposes, CDBG are largely used at the discretion of state and local governments and their sub-grantees.

Lewis & Clark Development Group administers the CDBG program through Lewis & Clark Regional Development Council (RDC) to local governments located in Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, and Sioux counties.

Last year, Lewis & Clark RDC awarded funds for projects in the communities of Linton, McClusky, Butte, New Leipzig, Carson, Steele, Glen Ullin, and Wing.