Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Community Development Block Grant Program?
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) federally funded program that provides funding for housing and community development. The CDBG program was established in 1974 under the Housing and Community Development Act Title 1. Nassau County OCD receives a direct allocation of funds from HUD annually. The national objectives of the program are to: benefit low and moderate income person, prevent or eliminate slum or blight, and address urgent community development needs. These objectives are met by providing decent housing, suitable living environments and expanded economic opportunities, primarily for the benefit of low and moderate income people.
2. How do I qualify for CDBG funds?
CDBG competitive grant funds are available to members of the Nassau County Urban County Consortium (see below about becoming a member) and non profit organizations in Nassau County. Approximately 80% of the County’s CDBG funds are distributed to these participating local municipalities to undertake programs based on local community needs. Projects include, but are not limited to, large scale neighborhood revitalization projects, infrastructure improvements, parks and playground enhancements, code enforcement, public service initiatives, and providing accessibility for the physically challenged. Grant funds are also allocated to rehabilitate homes owned and occupied by low and moderate income households, making them accessible, energy efficient and lead paint safe. All projects must meet HUD National Objectives.
3. How do I become a Consortium Member?
Nassau County must re-qualify for entitlement status as an urban county every three years. At this three year threshold, Nassau County formally invites those municipalities who are not currently participating in the CDBG consortium to become a member. At the same time, those municipalities who are members of the consortium and wish to “opt out” of the consortium are given notice that they may do so. Any municipality who does not officially “opt out” of the consortium is automatically re-qualified and will remain a member of the consortium for the next three years. Although formal invitations are issued every three years, this office continues to outreach to those non-members throughout the year and encourages participation.
4. Why should I become a member of the Consortium?
We strongly encourage every municipality throughout Nassau County to participate in the consortium. HUD bases its funding decisions on the census data, therefore increased membership means increased funding to undertake eligible community activities. If you are a non-participating municipality interested in joining the Nassau County Consortium please contact this office, OCD, for more information at (516) 572-1915.
5. How do I get funding?
All consortium members and non-profit agencies must go through a formal application process. An application for funding can be obtained at Nassau County OCD applications page. Applications are submitted annually and due on the first day of April in the current year. Applications are reviewed and grant funds are awarded in September of the same year. Funding awards are based on the eligibility and merit of each activity.
6. What are eligible activities?
Eligible activities are those activities that address HUD’s National Objectives to create suitable living environments, decent affordable housing and creating economic opportunities in low/mod income areas of Nassau County. The following are activities that can be funded by the CDBG Program:
- acquisition of real property;
- clearance and demolition;
- rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures;
- public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers;
- code enforcement;
- public services;
- activities relating to energy conservation and renewable energy resources; and
- special economic development and job creation/retention activities.