Department of economic and community development 498 office of community development chapter 20: community development block grant (cdbg) program




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19-498 DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
498 OFFICE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 20: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM
2001 PROGRAM STATEMENT


SUMMARY 1
SECTION 1. PROGRAM OVERVIEW 1
A. CDBG OBJECTIVES 1

B. METHOD OF DISTRIBUTION 2

C. STATE ADMINISTRATION 2

D. EXCLUSION OF ENTITLEMENT COMMUNITIES 3

E. NOTICE   GRANT ADMINSTRATION REQUIREMENT 3

F. PROGRAM TIMEFRAME 4

G. PROGRAM BUDGET 5

H. THRESHOLD CRITERIA AND REGULATIONS FOR THE CDBG PROGRAM 6
SECTION 2. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 10
A. HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS 10

B. PUBLIC FACILITIES/INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS 13

C. PUBLIC SERVICE GRANTS 16

D. DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION PROGRAM 19

E. URGENT NEED GRANTS 22

F. CITY OF AUGUSTA   CAPITOL RIVER DISTRICT 24
SECTION 3. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 25

A. DEVELOPMENT FUND 25

B. REGIONAL ASSISTANCE FUND 28

C. MICRO LOAN PROGRAM 31

D. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM 34

E. BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 38

F. INTERIM FINANCE PROGRAM 41
SECTION 4. PLANNING 43
A. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PHASE PLANNING GRANTS 43

B. COMMUNITY PLANNING GRANTS 44

C. HOUSING ASSESSMENT PLANNING GRANTS 46

D. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS 48
SECTION 5. REDISTRIBUTION OF GRANT FUNDS 49
A. ADMINISTRATIVE REDISTRIBUTION OF GRANT FUNDS 49

B. PROGRAM INCOME 50
SECTION 6. APPEALS 51
SECTION 7. AMENDMENTS TO THE PROGRAM STATEMENT 52


19-498 CMR Department of Economic and Community Development
Chapter 20 Community Development Block Grant Program

2001 Program Statement
SUMMARY
This Program Statement describes the method by which 2001 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds will be distributed. The CDBG program is administered pursuant to 5 M.R.S.A. 13073. The 2001 CDBG program is developed by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) following a review of past programs, a series of public forums with program constituents and a comprehensive assessment of statewide community and economic development needs conducted in 1999. In accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedures Act, DECD held public hearings to solicit input prior to adopting the Final Program Statement.
SECTION 1. PROGRAM OVERVIEW
A. CDBG OBJECTIVES
The Maine CDBG Program serves as a catalyst for local governments to implement programs which:
1. benefit low and moderate-income persons;
2. are part of a long-range community strategy;
3. improve deteriorated residential and business districts and local economic

conditions;


4. provide the conditions and incentives for further public and private investment; and
5. foster partnerships between groups of municipalities, state and federal entities, multi-jurisdictional organizations and the private sector to address common community and economic development problems.
6. minimize development sprawl consistent with the State of Maine Growth Management Act, and support the revitalization of downtown areas.

B. METHOD OF DISTRIBUTION
DECD, through the Office of Community Development (OCD), offers programs to assist municipalities to achieve their community and economic development objectives. The 2001 Program Statement provides a description of the selection criteria that OCD will use to allocate CDBG funds among communities. Programs are grouped under three broad categories - Community Development, Economic Development and Planning.

1. Community Development

a. Housing Assistance Grants

b. Public Facility Grants

c. Public Infrastructure Grants

d. Public Service Grants

e. Downtown Revitalization Program

f. Urgent Need Grants

g. City of Augusta Capitol River District Set-Aside Grant


2. Economic Development

a. Development Fund

b. Regional Assistance Fund

c. Micro-Loan Program

d. Economic Development Infrastructure Grants

e. Business Assistance Program

f. Interim Finance Program
3. Planning

a. Project Development Phase Planning Grants

b. Community Planning Grants

c. Housing Assessment Planning Grants


C. STATE ADMINISTRATION
1. General Administration Allocation: Pursuant to Section 106(d) (3) (A) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, (the Act) the DECD will utilize $100,000 plus 2% of its allotment from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer Maine's CDBG Program in accordance with Federal and State requirements.
2. Technical Assistance Administration Allocation: Pursuant to Section 106(d) (5) of the Act, DECD will utilize 1% of its allotment from HUD to provide technical assistance to local governments and nonprofit program recipients.
D. EXCLUSION OF ENTITLEMENT COMMUNITIES
The entitlement communities of Auburn, Bangor, Lewiston and Portland are not eligible to receive State CDBG program funds.
E. NOTICE – GRANT ADMINSTRATION REQUIREMENT
Beginning with the 2000 CDBG grant awards, communities must employ a certified grant administrator (as employee or consultant) or send whoever will be administering their program to the next offered grant administrator training program. The goal is to have all grantees using the services of certified administrators as soon as possible. Communities may request exceptions to the requirement under special circumstances.
F. PROGRAM TIMEFRAME
Application deadlines – 4:00PM on the dates listed:

Public Infrastructure December 8, 2000
Public Facilities December 8, 2000
Housing Assistance February 16, 2001
Downtown Revitalization January 19, 2001
Economic Development Infrastructure Ongoing beginning

January 4, 2001

(official application acceptance, 1st Thursday of every month)
Public Service April 6, 2001
Micro-Loan February 9, 2001
Community Planning February 16, 2001
Housing Planning February 16, 2001
Urgent Need 1st come basis beginning March 2, 2001
Development Fund Monthly

(official application acceptance, 1st Thursday of every month)
Business Assistance Program Open
Regional Assistance Fund Open
Interim Finance Program 1st come basis

beginning January 1,

2001

G. PROGRAM BUDGET
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT

2001 Program Budget


FY 2001 CDBG Budget

$16,377,000

Administration

427,540

Technical Assistance Administration

163,770

Regional Council Technical Assistance

152,690






1. Housing Assistance Grants


2,400,000



2. Public Infrastructure Grants

3,600,000

3. Public Facilities Grants

1,500,000

4. Public Service Grants

200,000

5. Urgent Need Grants

200,000

6. Downtown Revitalization Grants

1,200,000

7. City of Augusta – Capitol River Improvement District

500,000







8. Development Fund

500,000

9. Economic Development Fund

5,000,000

Business Assistance

Economic Development Infrastructure

Regional Assistance Fund

Interim Finance Program (see below*)






10. Micro Loan Program

150,000







11. Community Planning

158,000

12. Housing Assessment Planning

150,000

13. Project Development Phase Planning

75,000

* The budget for the Interim Finance Program is comprised of monies not yet disbursed from each of the other programs. These monies are lent on a short-term basis. The maximum budget for this program is $5,000,000. This program is capitalized only as loans are issued.
H. THRESHOLD CRITERIA AND REGULATIONS FOR THE CDBG PROGRAM
The following state and federal regulations APPLY TO ALL PROGRAMS:
1. Federal and State Certifications for Local Governments:
All communities applying for CDBG funds must certify that they will:
 minimize displacement and adhere to a locally adopted displacement policy in compliance with Section 104(d) of the Act;
 take action to affirmatively further fair housing and comply with the provisions of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968;
 not attempt to recover certain capital costs of improvements funded in part with CDBG funds;
 establish a community development plan;
 meet all required State and Federal public participation requirements;
 comply with the Federal requirements of Section 319 of Public Law 101-122 regarding government-wide restriction on lobbying;
 with the exception of administrative or personnel costs, verify that no person who is an employee, agent, consultant, officer, or elected official or appointed official of State or local government or of any designated public agencies, or subrecipients which are receiving CDBG funding may obtain a financial interest or benefit, have an interest in or benefit from the activity, or have an interest in any contract, subcontract or agreement with respect to CDBG activities;
 review the project proposed in the application to ensure it complies with the community's comprehensive plan and/or applicable state and local land use requirements.
2. The following general requirements apply to all programs:
(a) Prohibition on Multiple Grants: Except for the Development Fund (DF), Economic Development Infrastructure (EDI), Business Assistance (BA) and Regional Assistance Fund (RAF) programs, units of general local government and unorganized territories may not apply for, or benefit from, more than one grant per program category in any grant year.
Communities participating in multi-jurisdictional applications may submit their own application for the same program as long as they demonstrate that there will not be a duplication of program activity/benefit.


(b) Prohibition on Subsequent Year Award: Except for the Development Fund, Economic Development Infrastructure, Business Assistance, and Public Infrastructure grant programs, units of general local government and unorganized territories that benefited from a 2000 award may not apply again in that specific program until the 2002 program. Public Infrastructure grantees may receive grants in consecutive years to complete the same or related project. Communities may apply for and receive Public Infrastructure grants and Public Facility grants in subsequent years. These are considered different programs.
(c) Restriction of Grant Awards: OCD may restrict the award of grants to communities with outstanding audit or monitoring findings or a record of administrative misconduct.
(d) Project Development Phase Planning Grants: Project Development Phase participants may be eligible for planning grant funds on an as needed basis to assist with payment of project development costs. Extent of assistance shall be determined by OCD staff to a maximum of $2,500, most grants will not exceed $2,000.
(e) Grant Termination: OCD will terminate a community's grant if progress on the project is not apparent within 6 months from the date of contract signing. The Program Manager may grant waivers for cause.
(f) Eligible Activities: Applications will be reviewed to determine that the activities proposed are eligible under Section 105(a) of the Act. Activities not eligible for CDBG funding will not be considered.
(g) Project Benefit: Applications will be reviewed to verify that the proposed activities meet one of the CDBG Program national objectives pursuant to Section 104(b)3 of the Act. If the activity does not meet a national objective the application will not be considered for funding.
(h) Repayment of Grant Funds: Recipients must repay to the State of Maine all funds expended if program benefits are not achieved.
(i) Changes in Title 30-A, Subsection 4349-A as amended by PL 776:

Significant changes were made to the “Growth Management Act” by the 119th Legislature that affect the award of CDBG grants after January 1, 2001. OCD will provide information separate from the Program Statement outlining these changes and their impact on the award of CDBG grants for “growth related capital investments” as defined in the statute.



(j) Preference for Communities: In accordance with Title 30-A subsection 4349-A(3) OCD is required to give preference in the award of grants for capital investments not defined as “growth related” in subsection 4301(5-B) to communities with certified growth management programs or that have adopted a comprehensive plan and implementation strategy consistent with the goals and guidelines of the subchapter over a municipality that does not obtain the certificate or finding of consistency within 4 years after receipt of the first installment of a financial assistance grant or rejection of an offer of financial assistance.
3. Eligible Applicants:
All units of general local government in Maine, including plantations, except for the entitlement communities of Portland, Bangor, Lewiston and Auburn, are eligible to apply for and receive CDBG funds. County governments may apply on behalf of unorganized territories. Groups of local governments may apply for multi-jurisdictional or joint projects. Multi-jurisdictional applications require designation of one local government as the lead applicant and consent for that designation by each participating local government. Counties may apply for Economic Development Infrastructure, Business Assistance, Development Fund, Regional Assistance Fund, Public Service or IFP grant programs on behalf of a collaboration of communities.
4. Scoring of Applications
Applicants will be placed in rank order from highest to lowest according to the scores determined by the scoring team. Raw scores will be converted to ordinal rankings. Final scores will be determined by: (all scores - lowest score) / (all scorers - 1). Starting at the top of the scoring list, applicants will be invited to proceed to the Project Development Phase. An invitation into the Project Development Phase or notification to complete a final application is not a guarantee of funding. However, successful communities will receive an amount determined by the OCD for their project, but not to exceed the maximum grant award for that program.
5. Project Development Phase & Final Application Project Development
(a) Project Planning: Details of the project including pre-engineering, inspections, cost analysis, feasibility and/ or market studies.
(b) Management Plan: Details of the structure and methods established by the community for program management.
(c) Regulations: Project Development Phase applications will be reviewed for compliance with State and Federal regulations.
(d) Project Eligibility: Verification that proposed activities are eligible under the Act.

(e) Project Benefit: Verification that proposed activities meet one of the CDBG Program national objectives.


(f) Environmental Review: Review of project for compliance with state and federal environmental regulations.
The goal of the Project Development Phase or final application is a grant contract for CDBG funds. An OCD Project Development Specialist will be assigned to work closely with each community to finalize their project. Communities not completing their Project Development Phase or final application within six months of receiving an invitation will forfeit their grant award. The CDBG Program Manager may waive this requirement in light of extenuating circumstances.


SECTION 2. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
A. HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS
The Housing Assistance Grant (HA) Program provides funding to address housing problems of low and moderate-income persons.
1. Special Threshold Criteria and Certifications: Housing Assistance Program funds will be distributed through an annual grant application selection process.
(a) Eligible Activities: Eligible activities are those directly related to assisting or creating residential housing units including Acquisition, Code Enforcement, Conversion of Non-Residential structures, Demolition, Historic Preservation, Housing Rehabilitation, New Housing Construction, Relocation Assistance, and Removal of Architectural Barriers.
(b) Housing Assessment Planning Requirement: All communities applying for Housing Assistance funds must have completed a comprehensive housing assessment planning study within the past five years. Communities with plans older than five years will be permitted to demonstrate that their plan is under active implementation and is still valid or has been updated within the past five years.
(c) All communities applying for Housing Assistance funds must certify that they will:
(i) adhere to MRSA Title 10, Chapter 214, Energy Efficiency Building Performance Standards Act, Section 1415-c (1), (1A) and Section 1415-G in the construction of any new residential housing units;
(ii) provide a local match equivalent of 10 percent of the total grant award.
(iii) adhere to Title 24 CFR Part 35 regarding Lead Based Paint Hazards effective 9/15/2000.
2. Special Program Requirements:
(a) Past Performance: In order to be eligible to apply for the 2001 Housing Assistance program, communities that received CDBG grants in or prior to 1997 must have closed their grants prior to application due date. Communities that received CDBG grants in 1998 must have conditionally closed their grants prior to application due date. Communities that received CDBG grants in 1999 must have obligated 50% of their benefit activity funds prior to application due date.


Exceptions: Applicants may request a waiver of this requirement under the following circumstances: l) program delays have occurred beyond the control of the grantee due to unforeseen changes in availability of funds or acts of nature; 2) the recipient has received unanticipated program income and expenditure of grant funds has been delayed; 3) the job creation goals of a previous grant have not been fulfilled; or 4) special circumstances as determined and approved by the OCD Director.
(b) Maximum Housing Assistance Grant Amount: $400,000
(c) Maximum Housing Rehabilitation Costs: The amount of rehabilitation grants or loans available to participants will be no more than $15,000 per unit. Additional funds, up to a maximum of $7,000 may be available in the following cases: replacement housing, foundation work, inadequate sewage disposal, lack of potable water, presence of asbestos, lead-based paint, radon, or other hazardous material, or accessibility modifications. Except for acquisition/relocation and those activities listed above, all other eligible housing Assistance program activities are limited to a maximum of $20,000 per unit.
(d) Maximum Administrative Costs: This program allows expenditures for general and rehab administration. The total general administration expenditures may not exceed 10% of the grant amount. However, the total expenditures for both general and rehab administration may not exceed $45,000 for programs completing up to thirty housing units. An additional $1,500 in combined administration will be allowed for each unit completed beyond thirty up to a maximum combined administration total of $60,000.
(e) Section 8 Housing Quality Standards: All units assisted or created with HA funds must, at a minimum, meet HUD Section 8 Minimum Housing Quality Standards. This does not apply to projects undertaken to correct specific health and safety issues only, i.e. wells, septic, heating units.
3. Application Process: This process will consist of the following:
(a) Submission of a letter of intent by 4:00PM on February 16, 2001. The letter of intent (no more than 4 pages in length) to apply for Housing Assistance Funds detailing:
 the amount of funds requested

 a description of how funds will be used and what will be accomplished


 identification of administrative tasks necessary to implement the project

 project schedule

 identification of community officials, citizens, developers or organizations responsible for implementing the project
(b) A copy of the community’s housing assessment plan:
 The community’s complete assessment plan

 an executive summary of the plan

 an action plan to address the identified needs
 identification and description of how the applicant, groups, and private citizens will contribute financial and/or technical resources to the project:

 resources sought

 the status of commitments (known and sought)

 a timeframe for the commitments

 the basis for determining their value
(d) Identify why CDBG funds are essential for the completion of the project
4. Selection Process: The selection process will consist of review and evaluation of:
 Completeness of the housing assessment plan

 Level of housing need for low/moderate income households in the community

 Amount and certainty of financial and resource commitments to the project

 Extent to which the proposed project matches the priority needs identified in the housing assessment plan



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