Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the Federal agency that oversees the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. CDBG funds are Federal dollars granted annually to the City of Wheeling from HUD to make improvements to our community. Wheeling City Council selects the projects to fund and has much discretion as to where the money is spent. However, CDBG funds require attention by the City Economic and Community Development (ECD) Department to administer the CDBG Program, keeping in mind the City’s requirement to comply with numerous Federal Statutes and Agency regulations.
Broadly speaking, CDBG funds must meet the test that at least one of the Program’s three National Objectives is being met. The primary objective is:
Benefit to Low and Moderate-Income Persons .
The CDBG Program is required to fund projects whereby a minimum of 70 percent of the expenditures (over a three-year period) benefit low-and moderate-income persons. A “low/mod” person, or household, is one whose gross income is 80 percent or less of the median income.
HUD issues the income guidelines for all communities. As of April, 2019, they are as follows:
These neighborhoods are recognized as being low-mod and therefore eligible to receive CDBG funded improvements, because 51 percent of the of the households are low/mod.. What kind of improvements? Street resurfacing; curb and sidewalk reconstruction; and water and sewer upgrades are examples of low-mod benefit on an area-wide basis.
CDBG funds may be granted to organizations whose clientele are presumed low-mod beneficiaries because they fall into one or more of the following categories: abused women; battered spouses; the elderly; homeless; severely disabled; homeless; illiterate; persons living with AIDS; and migrant farm workers.
City Council has allocated public service grants through the CDBG Program to agencies who serve the categories of people up above. Family Services is a secondary recipient of CDBG funds whose objective is to benefit the elderly; the Seeing Hand Association, which benefits those whose sight is impaired; and the Soup Kitchen which provides free meals to the homeless and low-mod income.
What is more, CDBG funds may be used to remove material and/or architectural barriers to aid the elderly or handicapped. This is in keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Examples: sidewalk curb cuts; making a restroom accessible; and the construction of ramps for the ingress and egress for those who are wheelchair bound.
The other two National Objectives are: 2. Preventing or Eliminating Slum or Blight and 3. Urgent Need.
The CDBG Program is designed to seek the public’s input as advisors to the Program. Meetings and public hearings are advertised in commercial display ads in the local newspapers to advise the public of upcoming events. We also post information on the City’s website. Public hearings on the new fiscal year’s budget are held with administrative staff and with City Council later in the year.