What is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)?

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was authorized by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. The program consolidated several grants (urban renewal, neighborhood development, and model cities) into a single “block” grant program. The “block” grant program is one in which an entitlement community could receive a “block” of funds verses individual project applications.

Salem provides CDBG awards to local non-profits that provide emergency or essential services to the most vulnerable populations with the highest need. This assistance is provided in a variety of ways, from one-time rental assistance, to help with the cost of prescriptions.

The primary objective of Title 1 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, is the development of viable urban communities. These viable communities are achieved by providing the following:  

  • Decent housing
  • A suitable living environment
  • Expanded economic opportunities

Salem’s City Council determines priorities for CDBG through a public input process. Current priorities for the CDBG program include:  

  1. Economic development/job creation 
  2. Providing assistance to the homeless or at risk of homelessness population
  3. Providing affordable housing free from discrimination 
  4. Revitalizing eligible neighborhoods 

National objectives

CDBG grantees are responsible for assuring that each eligible activity meets one of three national objectives:

  1. Benefits low - and moderate-income persons
  2. Aids in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight
  3. Meets a need having a particular urgency (referred to as urgent need)

Low - and Moderate-Income (LMI) Benefit

Area Benefit: Activity provides benefit to area where at least 51% of residents receive low - and moderate-incomes.

  • Area is primarily residential and activity meets LMI needs
  • Income levels are documented by Census or an approved substitute
  • Exceptions apply under special circumstances

Limited Clientele: Activity benefits a limited number of persons who are at least 51% LMI (includes abused children, elderly, and homeless).

  • Assistance for LMI persons owning or developing microenterprises
  • Job training or placement activity (conditions apply)

Housing: Activity provides or improves residential structures to be occupied by LMI persons.

  • At least 51% of units must be occupied by LMI (exceptions to the 51% rule are possible under limited circumstances)

Jobs: Activity creates or retains jobs.

  • At least 51% of the jobs must be held by or available to LMI persons

Slums/Blight

Area Basis: Activity addresses slums and blight in area designated under state or local law.

  • Area must have a substantial number of deteriorated buildings
  • Activity must address one or more conditions contributing to deterioration

Spot Basis: Activity eliminates specific condition of blight in particular instance.

  • Condition is not located in a slum or a blighted area
  • Activity is acquisition, clearance, relocation, historic preservation, or rehabilitation (conditions apply to rehabilitation)

Urban Renewal Area: Activities located in an urban renewal area or Neighborhood Development Program area.

  • Activity must be necessary to complete the urban renewal plan.

Eligible activities

  • Microenterprise assistance (financial support, technical assistance, related services)
  • Special economic development assistance activities that produce certain public benefits (jobs or retail services) through:
    • Acquisition, construction, rehabilitation or installation of commercial or industrial buildings, equipment, and other improvements
    • Financial and technical assistance and related services​​
  • Job training and employment services
  • Health care and substance abuse services
  • Child care
  • Crime prevention
  • Fair housing counseling
  • Relocation assistance and related loss of rental income
  • Technical assistance to public or non-profit entities for capacity building

Eligible activities may vary based on available CDBG funds.

Contact us

Shelly EhengerFederal Programs ManagerUrban Development Department
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Mailing address:
350 Commercial ST NE
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
TTY/TDD: 

 Additional information