Tuesday, April 3, 2012

City of Deerfield Beach CDBG Programming Ideas by Andre Samuels

Prepared By: 
Andre Samuels

“Our goal should be to build a healthy community with a positive environment, strong economic opportunities, quality housing alternatives for residents, and a strong social infrastructure that supports a wide array of community organizations that are fighting for our youth and elderly citizens.”                                                                                            --------Andre Samuels
Wants You To Make A Difference

The City of Deerfield is the recipient of Grant Funding that citizens can potentially use to make a difference in their communities. These grant funds, are provided to the city by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Community groups can use these funds for a variety of purposes that range from running a food pantry to starting a school to providing small business loans to improving the physical appearance of neighborhoods and homes. CDBG Funds can also be used to support youth based programs within a community. (From “Using CDBG to Support Community Based Youth Programs: by The Finance Project) Youth Programs are defined as: “Youth programs include prevention, intervention, and developmental programs across multiple domains, including academics, workforce preparation, leadership and civic engagement, and health and well-being.These programs are provided by large and small and public and private organizations in diverse settings such as schools, workplaces, and community facilities. Examples of youth program activities include counseling, mentoring, career exploration, summer employment, dropout prevention, financial literacy, academic assistance, and sports and recreation.”

These are powerful tools that can help residents reshape their communities. Citizens are encouraged to empower themselves and fight for their community. 

Citizens are encouraged to establish non profit organizations and apply for funds that may assist them in revitalizing the entire Deerfield Beach Community. Funds and recipient organizations will be rigorously audited and inspected for competency and effectiveness. Individuals or groups that are found to be ineffective or abusing grant funds will not continue to receive support, and may face prosecution. CDBG Funds are limited and organizations that are ineffective will lose funding in favor of those that can make a difference for this community.          
CDBG-Stands for Community Block Development Grants. The funds for these grants are delivered to cities through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This year, the City of Deerfield received 700,000 dollars in grant funding which is used to improve the condition of impoverished communities.



Columbia South Carolina uses CDBG funds to provide police officers with low interest mortgage loans to encourage officers to purchase new and renovated homes in the neighborhoods they serve. The premise of the program is very simple; crime will decline in communities as a result of an increase in officers living in those communities. These programs also endeavor to create a more cohesive relationship between law enforcement and the communities that they patrol. Advocates would suggest that law enforcement can be more effective when the officers that patrol a community are friends and neighbors of those that live in the community. The program is a part of a community policing strategy in Colombia and has improved public safety. The program has also improved the value of properties in the targeted neighborhood. It should be noted that the City of Detroit is using a similar strategy, with Federal funds. Their program partners with local banks to provide officers grants for home purchases within targeted areas. 



“Child Advocates Inc., one of the largest court appointed special advocates (CASA) programs, is a nonprofit organization that mobilizes court-appointed volunteers to break the vicious cycle of child abuse. Child Advocates Inc., speaks up for abused children who are lost in the system and guides them into safe environments where they can thrive. It has been serving children in Harris County for nearly 25 years and has been receiving CDBG funds for more than 20 years”(Source: The Finance Project: Using CDBG to Support Community Based Youth Programs)

2) JOB TRAINING AND PROPERTY UPKEEP                                                                                                              The City of Baltimore, Maryland uses CDBG funds to provide contracts to non-profit organizations for the cleaning and boarding of vacant properties as a job training tool for young people. The program also leverages funds from other sources.

3) SMALL BUSINESS LOANS TO CITIZENS                                                                  Wisconsin provides small business loans through the creation of revolving loan funds, using CDBG grants. In order to increase the amount of available dollars that can be loaned to citizens to encourage entrepreneurship throughout the community, cities are allowed to borrow against future CDBG grant funds. In this case they are allowed to borrow up to five times their CDBG entitlement. The creation of small business micro-loans, for citizens to create businesses in local communities works well with the creation of small business incubators-and entrepreneurship training. 

4) Preservation and Creation of Permanently Affordable Housing- 
CDBG funding is used to fund staffing activities that support real estate development in Burlington. This creates 68 new apartments and helps preserve  189 existing affordable apartments in the City. Burlington has made it a priority to create a city that is livable for people of all incomes. They allocate approximately $125,000 for this purpose and for the direct construction or rehab of apartments. 

5) WOMEN’S SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAM                                                         This program provides women in poverty with the necessary skills needed for self-employment. This program effectively creates new jobs in Burlington by offering “comprehensive entrepreneurial education”. Their START-UP program is an intensive 15-week course where women develop business skills, a formal business plan and a personal/professional goals agenda. Curriculum includes market analysis, financial statements, business promotion and technology. The curriculum helps students remove barriers to achieving economic goals. Business plans are reviewed and critiqued by volunteer bankers and business owners in the community. 


“Recreation Reaps Rewards (RRR) provides a wide array of activities to provide youth with life skills, academic support, and enrichment and recreation opportunities.The program aims to promote, teach, and reward hard work and positive behavior through involvement in these activities. Approximately 5,000 youth are enrolled and participate in Recreation Reaps Rewards across 20 sites. CDBG funds support approximately 2,500 of these youth” (Source: The Finance Project)

The Dove Tail program was created in cooperation with the University of Chicago’s MAGIC program. The program was designed to help young fathers cope with the difficulty of staying in their children’s lives. A weekly meeting covers fathering techniques, legal rights and provides a safe space for them to discuss difficulties. (While I cannot say which particular federal funding stream they are utilizing, the program merited highlighting)


The City of Deerfield encourages members of the community, faith based organizations and non profit groups to apply for available funds, which may be used to improve conditions throughout Deerfield Beach. 

Timeline                                                                                                          UNKNOWN
Application Deadline                                                                                     UNKNOWN
Date Applications Reviewed                                                                         UNKNOWN
City Recommendations                                                                                 UNKNOWN
Notice of Funding                                                                                          UNKNOWN
Mayors Review and Recommendation                                                        UNKNOWN
Public Hearing                                                                                               UNKNOWN

The City of Deerfield Beach will receive approximately $700,000 in Community Development Block Grants. The funds have specific uses; 20% may be used for Administration (i.e. The City may allocate 20% of the total funds it receives for the administration costs of the program that distributes and allocates grant funding). Public service projects are limited to 15% of the total funding allocated. 65% of the total allocation can be used for Development Projects. Development Projects are considered to be improvements to public facilities, economic development initiatives and affordable housing initiatives. 

CDBG Funds are used for:

Housing- Acquiring, rehabbing, new construction, and increasing homeownership 
Economic Development-loans, entrepreneurial training, commercial facilities, and technical assistance 
Public Facilities and Infrastructure-CDBG Funds can be used as a local match for additional federal funds 
Public Services- up to 15% of Total Funds 
Clean up-restoration of contaminated sites 
Administration and Planning- mandatory administrative activities, up to 20% of total funds


CDBG Grant funds have a variety of broad goals that can be summarized as follows:

Projects should move fellow citizens out of poverty 
Projects should prevent fellow citizens from moving into poverty 
Project should address basic needs of people living in poverty
The projects will be evaluated on the basis of the potential of proposed projects to achieve the outlined objectives. The City Manager and Mayor will review applications for the following: 
Is CDBG the Most Appropriate Source of Funding For Proposal 
Is Project Sustainable and will results be sustainable
Does Project Involve Community Participation and Opportunity For Community Input
Does Proposing Organization Posses Potential and Administrative Capacity to Carryout Program 
Does Project Meet Basic Needs of Community; Food, Shelter, Healthcare, Fuel, Safety, Education and Employment
Does Program create opportunities for the disadvantaged; disabled, non-english speakers, at-risk youth 
Will Program lead to the economic independence or employment for participants and those served.
Threshold Criteria ( Taken Directly From National Objectives-verbatim citation. This Section is cited VERBATIM)
In order for a project to be funded with CDBG funds, it must meet one of the following three national objectives:

1. Benefits low and moderate income persons as per the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Locally, the primary use of CDBG funds is for services and programs for low and moderate income persons.  In order to be eligible, the project must either serve an eligible geographic area (a map is provided at the end of this section) or it must benefit low and moderate income persons directly (through serving a targeted population).  A direct benefit to low and moderate income persons may come through services, through housing or through jobs.  

If your project falls in the direct benefit category, then at least 51% of the people served by your project/program must be low and moderate income Burlington residents.  You must keep records (i.e., intake form, application, etc.) to verify the income by household size and the residence of those served by your project/program.  Certain groups of people are presumed by HUD to be principally low/moderate income persons.  Those groups include: abused children; elderly persons; battered spouses; homeless persons, adults meeting Bureau of Census’ definition of severely disabled persons; illiterate adults; persons living with AIDS; and migrant farm workers.  If your project/program exclusively serves one of these groups, you may document the limited nature of your clientele without documenting actual client income.  You can use participation in other programs (i.e., JTPA, National School Lunch Program) as a “proxy” for CDBG income-eligibility if the income guidelines for that are as least as restrictive as CDBG guidelines. 

"Moderate income" means a household whose income does not exceed 80% of the median family income for the area. The 2011 low and moderate income dollar guidelines will be published in or around February 2011.  

2. Aids in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight.

3. Meets other community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community and where other financial resources are not available to meet such needs.

Eligible activities include:

1. Purchase, sale, lease or other disposition of real property.

2. Clearance, demolition and removal of buildings.

3. Rehabilitation of publicly or privately owned residential property; commercial/industrial property (but if privately-owned, only for exterior improvements and correction of code violations); and nonresidential buildings and improvements owned by a nonprofit.  Funding can be used for:

a. Labor, materials and other costs relating to rehabilitation. 
b. Grants, loans, loan guarantees and other forms of assistance for financing rehabilitation.
c.   Loans for refinancing indebtedness. 
d.   Improvements to increase the energy efficiency of buildings and/or the efficient use of water. 
e.   Installing sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, deadbolt lock and other security devices.
f. Connecting residential structures to water or sewer collection lines. 
g.   Initial homeowner warranty premiums and hazard or flood insurance. 
h. Lead-based paint hazard evaluation and reduction.  
i. Rehabilitation services (counseling, energy auditing, preparation of work specifications, loan processing, inspections, etc.).  
j. Historic preservation.
k. Converting a closed building from one use to another.  
l. Removal of architectural barriers to accommodate people with disabilities.

Funding cannot be used for costs of equipment, furnishings or other personal property, or for the labor costs for homeowners to rehabilitate their own property.

4. Relocation assistance to businesses, individuals, families, and non-profit organizations displaced by CDBG activities, and loss of rental income incurred in connection with the temporary relocation of displaced individuals and families.

5. Code enforcement.

6. Homeownership assistance.

7. Interim assistance either to alleviate an emergency condition or to cover limited, immediately needed improvements to a deteriorating area as a prelude to permanent improvements.  These limited improvements can include special neighborhood cleanup campaigns.

0. Purchase, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or installation of public facilities and improvements.  Public facilities include schools, libraries, and special needs shelter facilities (nursing homes, hospitals, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, halfway houses, group homes, emergency shelters).  Public improvements include streets, sidewalks, curbs, parks, playgrounds, water and sewer lines, parking lots, and aesthetic amenities on public property (trees, sculptures, etc.).

 . A “public facility” may be owned and operated by a nonprofit (i.e., senior centers, neighborhood centers) as long as it is open to the general public.

a. Buildings used primarily for the general conduct of government are ineligible. 
b. Flood and drainage facilities and parks established as a result of reclamation of land near a river are ineligible unless certain requirements are met.
c. CDBG funds cannot be used to operate or maintain public facilities/improvements.
d. CDBG funds cannot be used to buy construction equipment, to buy furnishings or other personal items, or for new construction of public housing.

9. Public services, including but not limited to child care, health care, job training, recreation programs, education programs, public safety services, services for seniors, services for the homeless, substance abuse treatment, fair housing counseling, and energy conservation.  

a.   Grants for public services may not exceed 15% of the City’s total annual CDBG appropriation.  
b. CDBG funds cannot be substituted for recent City or State funds supporting public services.  The service must be a new service or a "quantifiable increase in the level of service" above that provided by or on behalf of the City through City or State funds since May 2010.  

c. Ongoing grants or non-emergency payments to individuals for food, clothing, rent, utilities or other income payments are not eligible activities.

10. Special economic development activities, including:

a. Acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or installation of commercial or industrial buildings, structures, and improvements.
b. Grants, loans, loan guarantees, interest supplements, and technical assistance to private for-profit businesses.
c. Economic development services including outreach efforts to market available forms of assistance; screening of applicants; reviewing and underwriting applications for assistance; preparation of necessary agreements; management of assisted activities; and screening, training, referral, and placement of applicants for employment opportunities generated by CDBG-eligible economic development activities.
11. Micro-enterprise assistance in the form of loans, grants, technical assistance and general business support services.

12. Grants or loans to any qualified Community-Based Development Organization (CBDO) to carry out a neighborhood revitalization, community economic development, or energy conservation project.  For a description of eligible CBDO's and activities, please contact CEDO.

The City of Deerfield Beach Welcomes All Interested Citizens to partake in the CDBG program. The opportunity to make a difference in the city of Deerfield Beach should not be missed by churches, non-profits and passionate citizens. Groups should be prepared for detailed record keeping, constant evaluation and rigorous standards. Together we can all become involved in sustaining our beautiful city.

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