Montgomery County Development Services (Community Development) administers a number of programs that are funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Programs include Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, and Emergency Solutions Grant. A brief overview of each program is provided below.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
The basic intention of the program is to benefit persons of low and moderate incomes. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The popularity of the CDBG Program can be attributed to its unique approach in working with local governments. Rather than require localities to apply for separate federal grants, one application is submitted that can cover a variety of locally identified community development and housing needs.
HUD bases entitlement awards on a complex formula allocation which takes into consideration such factors as population, housing stock and the extent of poverty in Montgomery County as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Montgomery County has received up to $3 million annually. However, for the past few years, the County has been receiving just over $1.6 million per year.
HOME Investment Partnerships Program
HOME is designed as a partnership among the Federal government, state and local governments and those in the for-profit and non-profit sectors who build, own, manage, finance and support low income housing initiatives. Montgomery County may use its funding for these major types of housing programs:
- Home ownership programs (including rehabilitation and first-time homebuyer programs)
- Rental housing production and rehabilitation
- Tenant-based rental assistance
Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program
ESG authorizes use of federal grant funds for the rehabilitation or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelters for the homeless, for payment of certain operating and social service expenses in connection with emergency shelters, and for homeless prevention activities. Montgomery County has typically used its ESG funding for operating expenses for certain shelters and for selected supportive services. Our goals have been to maintain existing programs, serve those groups that are underserved and to provide funding for other homeless and homelessness prevention programs.
MicroEnterprise Grant Program
The MicroEnterprise Grant Program uses CDBG funds to help small business in Montgomery County. The MicroEnterprise Program was created to help forward-thinking, strategic entrepreneurs grow their operations through the use of grants that range from $2,500 to $25,000. The program targets established small businesses with a storefront, 5 or fewer employees, and total annual sales revenue under $500,000, with an emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.