Every year, the City of Chicago administers a series of community development grants. These grants specifically support the City’s goals with respect to providing decent, affordable housing, expanding economic opportunity, and serving low and moderate income populations.
The City prepares an annual funding strategy, called an Action Plan. The Action Plan includes Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG), HOME program grants and Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) grants. The goals that guide the Action Plan are set forth every five years in what is called the Consolidated Plan.
The following are the major categories of Community Development Grants received by the City and administered through the Office of Budget and Management:
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
Each year, the City of Chicago receives a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The funding is provided to the City to serve the needs of low- and moderate-income people, families and communities. CDBG is the largest annual federal grant to the City that addresses human service needs.
The City’s Office of Budget and Management administers the CDBG grant funds. Lead departments manage the contracts executed between the City and not-for-profit "delegate agencies" throughout Chicago.
The delegate agencies serve needs ranging from public health, housing and homelessness, to workforce training, seniors, the disabled and more.
By partnering with delegate agencies, the city can provide effective services and support community based programs and solutions.
Delegate agencies must apply annually in May for CDBG funding, stating their qualifications and their proposal for services.
Following the federal guidelines for distribution of CDBG funds, OBM works with the Community Development Advisory Committee and the appropriate City departments to determine the level of funding each delegate agency will receive.
The decision is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: previous experience and accomplishments; capacity; collaborations and linkages; proposed goals/outcomes; comprehensive distribution of funds geographically, and; respect to population needs.
The City then notifies delegate agencies who have been recommended for funding when the annual budget is submitted to the Chicago City Council, generally in mid-October. The contracting process for successful delegate agencies begins in December for the following calendar year of funding.
Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG)
The ESG program helps provide essential services for homeless individuals, including emergency shelter and intervention strategies for families at risk of becoming homeless. The ESG grant is administered by the Chicago Department of Human Services.
HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
HOME provides funds to strengthen public-private partnerships and expand the supply of decent, safe, sanitary, affordable housing with primary attention to rental housing for very low- and low-income families. The HOME program is administered by the Chicago Department of Housing.
Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA)
The HOPWA program provides resources and incentives to devise long and short-term comprehensive strategies for meeting the housing needs of persons with HIV/AIDS. The HOPWA program is administered by the Department of Public Health for the seven county Chicago Metropolitan Area.
Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC)
The CDAC promotes neighborhood participation in identifying needs and priorities for funding and advises the City on the CDBG citizen participation process and the City's annual program submission to HUD. Members of the CDAC are chosen from among Chicago residents, nominated by community and city-wide organizations.
Chicago Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
The committee represents all sectors of the housing delivery system, including developers (not-for-profit and for-profit), lenders, other service providers and City staff. It has the responsibility for defining housing needs, developing strategies to address these needs, and advising the City on the use of HOME funds. Citizens are encouraged to become involved by contacting members of the Task Force working in their area.
Planning Council to End Homelessness
The council is convened by the Chicago Department of Human Services to advise the department on policy, program design/implementation, resource development and the use of ESG funds. The Task Force includes representatives of federal, state, and local government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, shelter providers, foundations, businesses, and previously homeless persons. Citizens can become involved by contacting individuals on the Task Force.
Chicago-Cook County HIV Services Planning Council
This council is a regional planning body that coordinates the distribution of HOPWA and Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act funds throughout Northeastern Illinois. The Council assesses the needs for local HIV services, sets priorities for public sector funding, and evaluates administrative efficiency. Citizens can contact Council members to voice their opinions.