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Community Development Commission

Community Development Block Grant

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program was created by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.  The program has funded a wide variety of housing and community development activities throughout the United States. These include land acquisition for new affordable housing projects, rehabilitation of existing housing, construction or renovation of community centers, infrastructure improvements, fair housing services and support for homeless systems of care.

Sonoma County receives approximately $1.8 million annually in CDBG funds.  The program is administered by the Community Development Commission, and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors makes the final decision regarding how the funds are distributed locally.  Since 1982, the Urban County CDBG program has provided funding on an annual basis to participating cities, the lower income unincorporated areas of the County, and to numerous nonprofit organizations.

The funding cycle for CDBG is a part of, and follows the timeline outlined in the Consolidated Plan, which is prepared in partnership with community members and stakeholders every five years.

Eligible Activities

Community Development Block Grant funds are used for projects that improve the quality of living for lower-income residents whose incomes are less than 80 percent of the area median income as established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Any CDBG-funded activity must meet at least one of the following National Objectives: 

  • Benefit to low- and moderate- income (LMI) persons;
  • Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; and
  • Meet a need having a particular urgency (e.g. disaster), 

Such activities include the following:

  •  Housing rehabilitation
  •  Community and senior centers
  •  Acquisition of real property for affordable housing
  •  Infrastructure improvements such as streets, sidewalks, sewers and storm drainage
  •  Public services
  •  Accessibility modifications
  • Permanent Supportive Housing for people experiencing homelessness 
  •  Homeless Shelters

Public Services Set-Aside

The Community Development Commission may use up to 15% of its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to assist a range of public service activities that benefit persons whose incomes do not exceed 80% of median area income for Sonoma County. The Commission uses this set-aside to support Home Sonoma County, Sonoma County's homeless system of care and to provide Fair Housing-Related activities. Examples of priority activities for CDBG Public Service funding in Sonoma County are:

  • Street Outreach
  • Coordinated Entry
  • Emergency Shelters and Navigation Centers
  • Homeless Services
  • Fair Housing-Related Activities