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

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


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 a Community Partner Can Get a Grant For

  • Microenterprise assistance (financial support, technical assistance, related services)
  • Special economic development assistance activities that produce certain public benefits (jobs or retail services) through:
  • 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
  • Housing rehabilitation

Eligible activities may vary based on available CDBG funds.

The list of current CDBG grant recipients and their grant amounts can be found on page 279 of Budget Book 1 in the City's annual budget.