Citing concerns with pending Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rules tied to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners voted to end a 13-year run as a CDBG entitlement community effective with the 2016 program year.
This decision comes after years of fighting for Congressional action in Washington, D.C., as well as meeting with and submitting formal comments to HUD regarding what the Board of County Commissioners refer to as “unreasonable, unachievable, ill-conceived, rules attached to CDBG funding.”
“For years we’ve been fighting along-side like-minded members of our Colorado Congressional delegation, as well as other members of Congress nationwide on this over-reach by the Federal Government,” said County Commissioner and Board Chair David Weaver. “We articulated our concerns directly with HUD officials, fought to be heard on the record and as part of Congressional testimony…… and could not change the course,” stated Weaver.
“We heard from and worked with members of our community concerning the potential impact of receiving these federal dollars from HUD and we share their concerns,” stated Roger Partridge. “Douglas County is wholeheartedly committed to meeting the full intent of the Fair Housing Act. My principal concern moving forward is with the assertiveness of the present rule and the potential that it can prevent us from being compliant with the Fair Housing Act regardless of our desired intent,” said Partridge.
“This federal agency is practically reinterpreting and changing the intent of the Fair Housing Act,” stated Commissioner Jill Repella. “I have significant concern with the new assessment tool that is in play right now. We need to continue to work with our Congressional delegation and fight this battle, said Repella.”
Recognizing the impact of the Board’s decision on applicants for the CDBG funds, Commissioner Jill Repella offered a motion requesting a work session with staff aimed at evaluating grant applicants’ 2016 CDBG funding requests and exploring alternative funding approaches. “This County has been very proactive and creative in partnering with community organizations consistent with furthering our Community Services Board Goal,” said Repella.
This Board Goal requires that the County ensure conditions exist so that county programs and public/private partnerships foster an effective safety net for the basic needs of qualified residents, and that basic and essential services exist that provide people the opportunity to be self-sufficient.
Douglas County CDBG Program Overview
The Community Services section of the Department of Community Development is the lead agency for the Douglas County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) activities. The program provides funding in support of community needs throughout Douglas County. The grant amount received by the County is based on population size and the number of low- to moderate-income persons residing in the County.
The CDBG program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and was created to improve the physical, economic and social conditions for low- and moderate-income residents or assist in low-income areas. Non-profits, governmental or quasi-governmental agencies are eligible to apply for grants that can be used for:
- Affordable housing development
- Public facilities improvements
- Economic development
- Public services
- Housing services
Any project or program funded with these federal dollars must meet specific eligibility criteria set by HUD, address local priorities and goals, and meet a national objective of the program. The national objectives of the CDBG program are to:
- Benefit low- to moderate-income persons;
- Prevent or eliminate slum and blight conditions; or
- Address an urgent community need.
Activities funded with this grant must meet one of the local objectives identified in the County’s 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan, which is the long-range planning document that identifies local priority needs and goals.
Interpreters or Special Accommodations:
Any information pertaining to the CDBG program can be translated into another language and every effort will be made to meet other special needs accommodations. To request an interpreter or special needs accommodations, please contact Tina Dill, in advance, at 303-814-4380. Persons in need of information for the hearing impaired may call the TTY number at 303-663-7791.
Intérpretes o alojamientos especiales:
Cualquier información referente al programa CDBG puede ser traducido a otro idioma y se hará todo lo posible para satisfacer otras necesidades especiales alojamientos. Para solicitar un intérprete o necesidades especiales de alojamiento, por favor póngase en contacto con Tina de eneldo, por adelantado, al 303-814-4380. Las personas que necesitan la información para las personas con problemas auditivos pueden llamar al número TTY al 303-663-7791.