Community Development Block Grants


The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) provides flexible allocations of funding to local governments for a wide array of projects and programs, including affordable housing, infrastructure improvements, provision of public services and economic development opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

HUD awards 70% of its overall CDBG allocation by formula to larger cities and urban counties. The remaining 30% is distributed to states, which allocate funding on a competitive basis to smaller cities and rural areas. Practitioners cannot apply directly for CDBG allocations, but local governments can subgrant these funds to nonprofits and for-profit businesses for eligible activities.


Only local units of government can be recipients of CDBG allocations. However, many recipients depend on subrecipients to carry out eligible activities outlined in their CDBG plans.

Subrecipients (sometimes referred to as “subgrantees”) are entities that are provided CDBG funds by a grantee for their use in carrying out agreed-upon, eligible activities. There are three basic kinds of subrecipients:

  • governmental agencies
  • nonprofits
  • private for profits

Community based Development Organizations (CBDOs) can also be designated subrecipients by the grantee.

Role In Creative Placemaking

Local governments may award grants with this funding to subrecipients for a variety of activities including construction of housing, community facilities and infrastructure; economic development and job creation activities; and provision of public services – all of which may incorporate creative elements or contribute to a larger creative placemaking effort.




Abilene, TX, for neighborhood revitalization

Jamestown, NY, for business façade improvement, accessibility rebates, and technical assistance

Role in Creative Placemaking

This section represents our attempt to capture how this specific funding opportunity might fit into a placemaking initiative.


Who can apply? Eligibility is often limited, but in partnership with other entities you may identify an access point, such as subgrant opportunities. This information can help you determine which potential partners in your community might be able to access the funds.

Previous Projects/Grantees

These examples show how these funds have been used for creative or placemaking endeavors in the past, the types of organizations that have successfully accessed the funds and/or the types of activities for which the funds can be used.

Max Award

Maximum funding amounts can vary from year to year. We have provided the most recent information available. Where available, we also include a median or a range in cases in which the maximum is not typical of an average award.

Match Requirement

Most federal programs require some form of cost sharing. This is expressed differently for different agencies and programs. Sometimes a direct 1:1 match is specified. Other times, the application will state the maximum percentage of a project cost that the funding award can cover. We include this information, where available, in order to give you a sense of what to expect when applying for a particular funding program.


Most federal funding programs will require financial and progress reports at least annually, along with a final report. We consider this to be a "moderate" compliance burden. Where a higher degree of data collection and reporting is indicated, we convey that information with a "substantial" rating.