Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Creative uses for CDBG

  1. #1

    Creative uses for CDBG

    Its the season for annual action plans....thought I'd post string here to generate creative ideas for CDBG funding....anyone know of any programs other cities did that were a little out of the ordinary?

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,330
    It's hard to nail something that has not been done before (housing rehab, 1st time homebuyers, etc.), but here's afew of my favorites from the last couple of years:

    Not directly CDBG I suppose, but one of the things my now former employer did was stop funding public services out of CDBG. We were finding that our small non-profits often had trouble with the reporting/paperwork requirements. The City decided to stop giving them money with Federal strings attached, and created a "human services fund" using general fund money instead with more streamlined reporting customized to the individual organization.

    We recently did a sidewalk gap program in a low-mod neighborhood that created contiguous sidewalks between the neighborhood and the downtown employment center.

    One of the more unique things we did was fund land acquisition and architecture/design for a social services "one-stop shop". Planning staff designed the concept plan for the site, which included a food bank, family justice center, community action, early childhood intervention/head start, a medical clinic, sports gymnasium, playing fields for youth sports programs, an outdoor education classroom, community garden area, etc. With the boost from CDBG, they were able to secure approximately 10x the CDBG investment in grants.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Promoting synergies...
    Posts
    3,558
    I guess it depends on what you mean by creative...I have seen everything from building a road to buying a building to stimulate economic development. Are you trying to get ideas for your community or are you in school and trying to write a paper?
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Clayobyrne, CB
    Posts
    2,581
    Quote Originally posted by Twelve View post
    Its the season for annual action plans....thought I'd post string here to generate creative ideas for CDBG funding....anyone know of any programs other cities did that were a little out of the ordinary?
    In my previous career as a for-hire CDBG manager we did:

    Housing rehab
    Sign and facade
    Sewer installation
    Streetscape
    Shared parking lot
    Senior centers
    Sidewalks

    Not too creative really. The regs really hamper things.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian AnvilPartners's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Glendale, AZ
    Posts
    157
    Blog entries
    12

    You can use them thar funds

    Try Cross-Matching -- it's a great way to pair up programs to leverage each other...(when it's allowed)

    I've done that a couple of times with EDA...

    RES
    "Sometimes you have to get medieval with it...hammer, sparks, sweat, the whole nine yards...so don't forget your asbestos suit."
    Aphorisms on Public Hearings, Planning Guild Handbook (2001).

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ocean to the east, land to the west
    Posts
    1,071

    Funding Stipends through Public Services

    While we are on the subject of CDBG funding, we have an application under Public Services for a program for school kids over the summer. At the end of the summer, in return for working in some offices and attending some classes, the kids are supposed to get a $500 stipend or a gift card to a local mall. There is some question about whether we are able to fund these stipends through CDBG Public Services.

    Any thoughts or experience? It appears that the relevant regulation is CFR 501.207 (b) (4): "Income payments. The general rule is that CDBG funds may not be used for income payments. For purposes of the CDBG program, 'income payments' means a series of subsistence-type grant payments made to an individual or family for items such as food, clothing, housing (rent or mortgage), or utilities, but excludes emergency grant payments made over a period of up to three consecutive months to the provider of such items or services on behalf of an individual or family." I am not sure whether this is considered an income payment - we certainly have paid hourly wages to staff for services rendered and not had a problem with that, but never a stipend per se.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    While we are on the subject of CDBG funding, we have an application under Public Services for a program for school kids over the summer. At the end of the summer, in return for working in some offices and attending some classes, the kids are supposed to get a $500 stipend or a gift card to a local mall. There is some question about whether we are able to fund these stipends through CDBG Public Services. ~snip~
    I'd be a little leary of that one. Call your field rep.

    We've used CDBG for the usual stuff. We acquired three acres in an urban neighborhood, adjacent to the local elementary school. Relocated the residents, demo'd the houses (MOA, documentation, the whole shebang) and built a park. It had this cool tensile roof over the play apparatus but some 13YO PUNKS set it afire. We've never put it back.

    We also partnered with our CHDO to save 17 homes from the wrecking ball of a major institutional expansion. They donated the houses to CHDO (along with the $$ they would have spent on demo/site work) and CHDO moved and rehabbed the houses. (Well, after a long, costly court fight with some NIMBYs.) Pretty cool project, IMO.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    6
    I bought a fire truck, years ago. Does that qualify as unusual? It's infrastructure, so to speak. We had to alter the trucks primary response area to match a L/M Census tract.

    Best use I ever saw (and I didn't do it) was to use S/B $ to purchase a bunch of smoke detectors to give to the fire department. If the FD responded to the call, they would check the smoke detectors. If they didn't have any or they didn't work, the FD would install them right then and there -- no muss, no fuss, no paperwork (other than the regular report for the call). It was a great way to get the detectors into houses that needed them.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jdplanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Somewhere
    Posts
    39
    My organization helped a rural county secure CDBG funds to prepare a regional sustainability study that will provide Smart Growth recommendations for LMI municipalities in close proximity to a very large economic development project that will bring significant investment to the area. It is the most unique CDBG project I have worked on.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,953
    The trend toward self-employment and contract employment is accelerating. There is a need to establish new programs for entrepreneurship and support for these solo businesses. The economic development community is largely ignoring most of these people, instead concentrating on manufacturing and tech, despite the evidence that a majority of the jobs are elsewhere.

    One of the ideas I find especially interesting is coworking space. Essentially it functions a little like a coffee shop. It is an environment in which entrepreneurs and other workers can drop in, find a desk and technology to work with, and have access to meeting rooms. I believe such an environment would be ideally located in a downtown or neighborhood commercial district, where the benefits would flow both ways. CDBG could be used to cover the start-up costs of such a facility in the same way it might be used for an incubator.

    I am part of a group that is studying whether we can launch this idea in Wisconsin, initially in Madison, but eventually as a network of centers giving people the opportunity to access services in a number of communities, which would be especially useful when traveling.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. CDBG cut by 11%
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 18 Nov 2011, 9:25 PM
  2. Difference between HUD and CDBG MFI?
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 14 Nov 2008, 2:57 PM
  3. CDBG Administration
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 06 Dec 2004, 4:41 PM
  4. CDBG Funds- How do you use?
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 22 Jul 2004, 11:49 AM