If your community is seeking funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, there are a few changes you should be aware of for the 2017 cycle. In March, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) hosted in-person and virtual workshop to highlight and discuss the updated guidelines, which include significant changes to the Downtown Revitalization (DTR) category.
DTR Will No Longer Be a Two-Phase Process
The DTR program will no longer be a two-phase process, funded exclusively through the CDBG. Previously, DED required that an applicant complete a “Phase I” Pre-Development Study before applying for “Phase II” Implementation Dollars. That study had to be funded by CDBG.
The update doesn’t eliminate predevelopment studies (and shouldn’t, because planning is absolutely key to the success of a project), but gives communities the opportunity to fund the study themselves or through other non-CDBG means. The predevelopment study must be made available to DED prior to, or along with, the application for DTR resources.
Recent Changes Will Streamline the DTR Process
The due date for DTR applications was shifted from early May to September 30, presenting an opportunity for clients in need of downtown revitalization. Communities can self-fund the required predevelopment study in the first half of the year, and use the vital information uncovered to pursue a DTR Implementation application during the second part of the year. Projects that previously took two or more years to see implementation may now only take a single year. That not only streamlines the completion of projects, but also accelerates the addition of value and quality of life to our communities.
Predevelopment Study Funds Will Still Be Available
For those clients that are unable to self-fund the requisite predevelopment study, grants are still available. Funding for predevelopment studies will now be offered through the CDBG Planning Category. The maximum grant amount for a single community or unincorporated county under the Planning Category has been raised to $40,000, while the amount for multi-community/county projects was increased to $60,000 (both categories are up $10k from 2016). Planning grant applications are due on August 30th.
It is our hope that the recent changes to the CDBG program will enable our clients to more easily pursue planning and implementation dollars for their future Downtown Revitalization projects. Our Funding Department is always available for questions about CDBG, as well as a multitude of other grant opportunities.
Along with Funding Specialist Terry Meier, Kris Brambila is a member of the JEO Funding team. If you have questions regarding CDBG or other grant opportunities, please contact Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (402) 474-8766.