ETCOG, along with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), manages the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) in Texas and is dedicated to helping rural Texans strengthen their communities by providing financial and other support for local, basic public facilities and infrastructure needs, industries, services and households.
Eligible applicants are non-entitlement rural cities under 50,000 in population and non-entitlement rural counties that have a non-metropolitan population under 200,000. If an area is labeled as "entitlement" (larger cities, such as Dallas, Houston etc.) they receive CDBG monies directly from HUD. Applicants are selected for funding biennially using the Regional Review Committee (RRC) score, with additional points awarded by TDA staff for past performance. Once every two years, the RRC meets to decide on the scoring criteria for the following funding cycle and publishes this information in a TDA approved Guidebook.
Grants are awarded a maximum of $275,000 (single entity) or $350,000 (multi jurisdiction) and awards are provided annually. Once applications are scored, applications within regional funding levels are recommended for approval. ETCOG usually receives a $2-$3 million allocation annually which funds about 10-12 entities a year.
Although most funds are used for Public Facilities (water/wastewater infrastructure, street and drainage improvements and housing activities), there are numerous other activities for which these funds may be used including:
Sewer facilities, solid waste disposal facilities, other public utilities, street improvements, flood and drainage improvements, neighborhood facilities/community centers, senior centers, centers for handicapped/sheltered workshops, parks, playgrounds, and other recreational facilities, fire protection facilities and equipment, parking facilities, pedestrian malls and walkways, Specially Authorized Assistance to Privately Owned Utilities, Specially Authorized Assistance to Privately Owned Utilities, public services, interim assistance, rehabilitation of private properties, housing activity-water service connections, Rehabilitation of Public Residential Structures, Affordable New Housing or Homeownership Assistance, Clearance/Demolition Activities, Historic Preservation, Removal of Architectural Barriers, code enforcement, acquisition, relocation payments and assistance, Engineering/Architectural Services, Planning and Urban Environmental Design, general administration.
All applicants must refer to the Community Development Fund Application Guide for complete details and information.
Community Development Fund scoring is governed by the provisions of the TxCDBG Action Plan.