CDBG COVID-19 Programs
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Act Funding
The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development has released the Program Statement for three new CDBG CV19 programs that will become available on July 1, 2020.
All CDBG funded activities must meet one of the following National Objectives:
Benefit to low and moderate income (LMI) persons;
- Prevention and/or elimination of slum and blight conditions; and
- Meeting community development needs having a particular urgency.
Pending HUD approval, the new three CDBG CV19 grant programs are:
Housing Assistance Program
The CV19 Housing Expense Assistance Program (HEAP-C) provides funding to community action agencies to address emergency housing needs for low-and moderate-income persons as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Program Delivery and Project Benefit: Program funds will be distributed through a partnership with MaineHousing which will distribute funding to each of the participating Maine Community Action Agencies (or other approved entity) to provide Housing Assistance Services in the region. Participation in the delivery system is subject to the approval of the Director of the Maine Office of Community Development. The Community Action Agencies will verify applicant eligibility and the amount of assistance.
2. Eligible Activities: Eligible activities under the CV19 Funding include housing payments of up to a total of $1,200 per month. This amount can include utility payments such as electricity, heating fuel, and sewer/water costs. Emergency housing payments may not duplicate funds received through other federal, state, or local programs.
These expenditures are eligible per 24 CFR 570.207 (a) (4) under the following conditions:
a. The payments do not exceed three consecutive months; and
b. The payments are made directly to the provider of such services on behalf of a low to moderate income individual or family.
Food Security Program
The CDBG CV19 Urgent Need Food Security Program addresses community needs of food insecurity by providing funding for operating expenses, program supplies, and distribution activities of the Good Shepard Food Bank (GSFB) which will benefit low/moderate income (LMI) persons.
1. Eligible Activities: Eligible activities include but are not limited to, operating a program expenses, and distribution for the purpose of providing nutritious food more than 450 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, and senior programs.
2. Project Benefit: The project will provide benefits to a non-profit entity, where 51% or greater of the persons receiving benefit from the activities are determined to be LMI. CDBG-CV19 funding will serve LMI Clientele who access food through GSFB’s network of partners in non-entitlement areas across the State of Maine. This population includes, but is not limited to, populations that HUD presumes to be low to moderate income, including elderly persons, homeless persons, illiterate adults, severely disabled adults, persons living with AIDS, and migrant farm workers.
Micro-Enterprise Assistance Grant Program
The Micro-Enterprise Assistance Grant (MEA) Program provides grant funds to micro-enterprise businesses in non-entitlement areas through a partnership with Maine’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and their partners. Micro-Enterprise businesses that can demonstrate loss of revenue directly due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply. However, micro-enterprise assistance funds may not duplicate funds received through other federal, state, or local programs.
1. Eligible Activities: Eligible activities include grants to for-profit businesses that can be used for working capital to cover loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Maine’s Small Business Development Centers will identify and pre-qualify those businesses who are eligible for the program. Potential participants will need to document previous years’ (2019) monthly revenues as well as current, (2020) monthly revenues in order to demonstrate actual loss of revenue due to closure, show cancellations, or limited ability to operate normally due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Cannabis related businesses are not eligible.
2. Maximum Amount of Micro-Enterprise Assistance to an individual Business: $5,000
3. Project Benefit / Demonstration of National Objective: Existing businesses that have five or fewer employees, one of whom owns the enterprise, and whose household income is Low/Moderate as defined by HUD will meet the project benefit. Applicants will need to submit a copy of their 2019 Personal Income Tax filing with their application. Non-owner employees’ incomes are not considered in meeting project benefit.
4. Selection Process: All Micro-Enterprise businesses wishing to submit a MEA application must meet with their local SBDC office to determine eligibility and verification of loss. SBDC staff will review and approve complete applications to be considered for funding.
Unlike the traditional annual CDBG program, individual businesses are responsible for submitting MEA grant applications rather than municipalities.