Community Development Block Grants

The State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is intended to develop viable communities by providing decent housing, expanding economic opportunities and creating suitable living environments - primarily for low/moderate income persons (those earning at or below 80% of Area Median Income.

Each year the State of Rhode Island receives a formula allocation of CDBG funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be distributed to eligible Rhode Island communities.

The CDBG program is governed by regulations of 24 CFR Part 570.  Under these guidelines, the State manages the program for those 33 Rhode Island municipalities which do not receive an allocation directly from HUD.  The Cities of Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick and Woonsocket are "Entitlements" and operate their own programs independent of the State effort.  By regulation, the State may only distribute funds to units of general local government.  These communities may, however, distribute funds to non-profit and other entities to undertake eligible activities.  Organizations interested in applying for CDBG funds should contact municipal CDBG Administrators or planning departments to learn about local priorities and application procedures.

Funds received (approx. $4-$5 Million annually) are distributed using a competitive application process.  Communities submit applications containing a number of activities which are reviewed by a funding committee in accordance with program regulations/policies.  This committee drafts recommendations to the Governor who typically announces awards July-September of each year.  Awards are activity specific.

While the program supports a myriad of activities including housing, economic development, facilities/improvements, services and planning - the program's priorities are housing, economic development and neighborhood revitalization.  Revitalization is a targeting of resources on a designated, distressed, predominately low- and moderate- income neighborhood.  All activities must meet a national objective, the primary of which is predominate benefit to low- and moderate- income persons.

Click here learn about the CDBG Disaster Recovery program

CDBG Management and Guidance

The HUD guides listed below are recommended reading for all municipal CDBG program administrators and their subrecipients.

General Program Information

Training Materials

Application Forms

PY’2017 CDBG Action Plan/Method of Distribution

PY’2017 funds will be distributed in accordance with the method of distribution outlined in the 2017 Annual Action Plan.  In February 2018, the State was issued contract agreements relative to its PY’2017 allocation ($5,003,815). 


Applications for Public Facilities/Improvements, and Public Services (including Job Training) will be accepted in the competitive application round.

The current schedule for the PY’2017 annual competitive application cycle is as follows:

Application Meeting/Forms Available - March 15

At this meeting, staff will answer procedural questions regarding the application.  Anticipated funds available and key regulatory/procedural requirements will be highlighted.  The annual competitive application (estimated at 30%-40% of funds) will include public facilities/infrastructure and service (including economic development service) proposals.  Affordable housing and residential rehabilitation applications are accepted separately on an ongoing basis, with funding limitations. 

Preapplication Workshop/Clinic - April 12

This workshop, requested by communities at the municipal meeting held in December, will be an opportunity for municipalities to meeting with OHCD staff to ask regulatory questions regarding potential proposals prior to submittal. 

Applications Due – 3 PM on May 17, 2018

Communities are required to hold public hearing(s) associated with the application.  The two-month application timeline should allow municipalities sufficient time for necessary consultation/meetings.

Staff Review & Committee Meetings - Thru Mid-July

Tentative Awards Approved & Announced - July 30

At award announcement, communities will complete necessary environmental reviews.  Contract agreements will be returned simultaneously with ROF (Release of Funds).

Affordable Housing applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 30, 2018.

Housing rehab applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 30, 2018.

Contact Mary Bray at 401-222-5778 for more information on economic development eligibility and application forms. 

Job training is generally considered a public service activity under CDBG Program regulations.  Therefore, job training applications should be submitted via the PY’2017 CDBG Competitive Application Form.

Environmental Review Materials

All CDBG-funded activities, including local administration, are subject to the environmental review process.  An environmental review using HUD forms (see links below) must be performed before “undertaking any physical activities or choice limiting actions.”  Refer to Rhode Island’s Environmental Review Guidance for step-by-step instructions on conducting a HUD environmental review.  For information on “choice limiting actions” refer to the Environmental Troubleshooting Training Powerpoint (available under Training Materials).

Drawdown and Reporting Forms

Procurement, Contracting, & Construction Management: