Jonathan Mallahan

The future of the City’s CDBG neighborhood program

Jonathan Mallahan, Community & Neighborhood Services Director, No Phone Number Available

Friday, February 13, 2015 at 11:14 a.m.

The future of the City’s CDBG neighborhood program

Neighborhoods have come together through the CA/CD (Community Assembly Community Development) Committee to determine the future of the City's CDBG neighborhood program. This program provides funding for neighborhood councils to direct towards improvements that build community and benefit low and moderate income citizens. In 2014, the CA/CD committee responded to changing federal requirements and updated the program to provide access to funding for all 27 neighborhoods. Building this experience, the CA/CD committee is now working to improve the program for the 2015-2016 program year. For additional background information on the CDBG neighborhood program click here.

The CDBG neighborhood program is intended to empower neighborhoods to improve their community through benefiting low and moderate income citizens. To better meet this goal, the CA/CD committee considered four questions in updating the CDBG program for the 2015-2016 program year. The questions, a description of why each question is valuable and the neighborhoods' prioritized answers are listed below.

What do neighborhoods value?

Why ask this question?

By understanding what neighborhoods value most, we can design programs and projects for neighborhoods to fund that match these values.

  • Quality of Life
  • Public Safety
  • Job Creation
  • Safe and Decent Housing
  • Community Centers
  • Equal Access (ADA Accessibility)
  • Senior Programs
  • Community Pride
  • Parks
  • Using CDBG dollars for Neighborhood Planning/Communication Funding
  • Opportunity to Leverage Current or Future Projects (e.g. use of CDBG funding to augment a current streets project)

Who should participate/who is eligible to receive the funds?

Why ask this question?

Identifying who is eligible to receive funding informs program systems like application and allocation methodology. More importantly, the program participants should align with our community's values and the purpose of CDBG funding (to serve low and moderate income individuals).

  • Some Neighborhoods – Needs Based (e.g. funding received by neighborhood is proportionate to the level of economic need)
  • Some Neighborhoods – Opt-In/No Gifting (Neighborhoods “opt-in” or choose whether or not they wish to participate in receiving CDBG funds. If they choose to do so, they cannot gift their funds for use in another neighborhood)
  • All 27 Neighborhoods

How are these funds allocated to eligible participants?

Why ask this question?

After we determine who is eligible to receive funds, we must then define how available funds are allocated out to participants.

  • Intensity of Need – Volume/Density of Poverty (calculate neighborhood allocations using a formula that prioritizes both the volume and density of poverty in neighborhoods)
  • 2014 CA/CD Committee Formula less Minimum Allocations ($9,500 minimum in 2015)
  • Allocation Available Funds by Council Districts – Equal distribution of funds or through a need-based formula
  • 2014 CA/CD Committee Formula (combination of number of income eligible individuals and census block groups)

How should funding decisions should be made?

Why ask this question?

Knowing who makes final decisions about how funding is used sets clear expectations for program participants.

  • Individual Neighborhood Councils
  • Neighborhood collaboration council by city council district (If funding is allocated by district, then neighborhoods would make decisions for use of these funds with neighborhoods in their city council district.)

The CA/CD committee used answers to these questions to take a vote requesting City staff to develop a draft proposal for the 2015-2016 CDBG neighborhood program that provides funding to some neighborhoods based on their level of need. Also that need be determined by the number (volume) and density (intensity) of low and moderate income families in each neighborhood. Finally, neighborhood councils will make individual decisions on how funds are used.

The chart below compares this proposal with the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 CDBG programs:

Program Year 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 (Proposed)
Who Participates? Some Neighborhoods (neighborhoods where more than 51% of households make less than 80% of area median income) All 27 neighborhoods receive some funding Some Neighborhoods (where poverty is most prevalent)
How are funds allocated? Formula allocation providing proportionate funding to neighborhoods based on the number of low and moderate income individuals in each eligible neighborhood. Formula allocation providing proportionate funding to neighborhoods based on number of low and moderate income individuals and number of eligible census block groups in each neighborhood. Neighborhoods receive a minimum allocation of $9,500 Formula allocation providing proportionate funding to neighborhoods based on the number of low and moderate income individuals in each eligible neighborhood and the level of poverty. (e.g. a neighborhood where area median income (AMI) is 80% would receive less funding than a neighborhood where AMI is 50%
Who makes funding decisions? Individual Neighborhood Councils Individual Neighborhood Councils Individual Neighborhood Councils

The CA/CD committee will meet next on February 24th, 5:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center (4001 N Cook) to work out the details of their program proposal. City Staff are working to prepare different formula allocation models using the program outline that was adopted by the CA/CD committee and is described above. The Committee will finalize this work and adopt a formal recommendation on March 4th, 5:30 p.m. at the West Central Community Center (1603 N Belt). A full timeline for the CDBG program update process is available by clicking here.

Get involved and share your perspective by attending CA/CD committee meeting or by leaving your thoughts below in the comment section. All comments will be shared with the CA/CD committee prior to their adopting a final recommendation.

For more information, please contact George Dahl at or 625-6036. You can also learn more by accessing the background materials including CA/CD committee minutes and information about last year's CDBG program below.


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