Community Development

Aaron Shapiro

Aaron Shapiro, Director

Cumberland County Community Development Office
142 Federal St. Suite 102
Portland, ME 04101
Tel. 207-871-8380
Fax 207-871-8292



Community Development Block Grant Overview

The following pages provide an overview of the CDBG program and the types of activities, projects and programs that can receive funding. It is not possible to provide information to address every regulation, issue and circumstance. Individuals and communities are encouraged to contact the Community Development Office for additional information or answers to your questions.

For a printable PDF version, click here.

I. Eligible Activities for CDBG Funding Public Services

II. National Objectives

All CDBG funded activities must meet one of the "national objectives" of the program

III. Public Service Activities

Note: Funds awarded for public service activities must not exceed 15% of the total HUD Grant award to Cumberland County.

The public service must be either:

Examples of eligible Public Service activities include: operating, equipment and program material expenses for child care, health care, job training, recreation programs, educational programs, public safety services, fair housing, senior citizen services, homeless services, drug abuse counseling and treatment and energy counseling and testing.

These services must be provided to:

1) Persons who are members of the following groups that are currently presumed by HUD to meet eligibility requirements. The presumption may be challenged if there is substantial evidence the group served by the project is most likely not comprised of principally low and moderate Income persons.


2) The service is available to all the residents in a particular primarily residential area, and at least 51% of those residents are low/moderate income persons.


3) The service is limited to a specific group of people, at least 51% of whom are low/moderate income persons.

IV. Planning Activities

Examples of Planning Activities include: studies, analysis, data gathering, and preparation of plans and action steps to implement plans. These plans could be for individual projects, community development plans, neighborhood plans, environmental or historic preservation studies or other similar activities.

No documentation concerning the "national objectives" of the CDBG program is required for planning activities.

V. Public Facilities & Public Infrastructure

Public Facilities and Public Infrastructure projects concern the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and installation of public improvements and facilities. Except for handicap accessibility improvements, CDBG funds can not be used for buildings for the general conduct of government such as town offices.

Examples of projects include: streets, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, parking, water & sewer lines, senior centers, community buildings and handicap accessibility.

Buildings owned and operated by non-profit entities may qualify for funding if the facility is available to the general public.

To qualify for funding and meet a "national objective" of the CDBG program the public facility or infrastructure must:

1) Benefit all the residents in an area that is primarily residential and for the Cumberland County CDBG program be listed in the lowest quartile of census block groups. This is a group of 33 census block groups on the "exception" rule list.


2) Be used for an activity designed to benefit a particular group of persons and greater then 51% of these are qualified as low/moderate income;


3) Entail the rehabilitation or historic preservation of the facility or improvement and qualify as a "slum/blight" activity;

VI. Downtown Revitalization

Downtown Revitalization projects typically contain public facilities or infrastructure improvements focused on the village center or downtown of a community. These projects may incorporate façade improvement loan/grant programs, the provision of public services, housing rehabilitation or other activities. The project may be a single activity or a holistic approach.

Each component of a Downtown Revitalization project must meet one of the "national objectives" of the CDBG program.

VII. Housing

The most common CDBG funded housing activity is Housing Rehabilitation. For the 2007 program, PROP is implementing a region-wide housing rehabilitation program for the County. An individual community or collaborative of communities may wish to implement its own program.

Housing Rehabilitation activities qualify for CDBG funds when the housing is occupied by low/moderate income residents.

VIII. Economic Development

Examples of Economic Development activities include: the construction, rehabilitation or installation of commercial buildings and other real property equipment and improvements; or assistance to private for profit entities in the form of grants, loans, loan guarantees or technical assistance. A loan program targeted to micro-enterprises is an economic development activity.

Economic Development activities meet the CDBG "national objective" of benefiting low/moderate income persons through the creation or retention of jobs. The individual hired or retained as a result of the economic development activity must qualify as low/moderate income.