The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program was established by the U.S. Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 ("HCD Act"). This program is administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In 1981, Congress amended the HCD Act to allow states to directly administer the CDBG program for small cities.
Also in 1981, the Governor gave the Illinois Department of Commerce administration and oversight over the Illinois Community Development Block Grant Small Cities Program in the same year. Administered by the department's Office of Community Development, the Illinois Community Development Block Grant Program is known as the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP). The mission of this program is to assist Illinois communities in meeting their greatest economic and community development needs, with an emphasis on helping communities with substantial low to moderate-income populations.
In order to ensure that state-administered programs meet the intent of the HCD Act, Congress has required that state-administered CDBG programs meet at least one of the following three national objectives:
- Benefit low-and-moderate income persons;
- Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight; or
- Meet other community development needs that pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community.
In addition, HUD's consolidated plan rules delineate three goals for its CDBG program:
- Provide decent housing;
- Establish and maintain a stable living environment; and
- Expand economic opportunities.
Within these statutory and regulatory requirements, Illinois has the flexibility to design its own program objectives and procedures for program administration and to develop criteria for selection of grant recipients within the various program components established by the Department of Commerce.
To complement these federally-mandated goals and objectives, the Department of Commerce has established the following specific goals for the Illinois Community Development Assistance Program:
- Economic Development-- Strengthen community economic development through job creation and retention, stimulation of private investment and strengthening the tax base.
- Public Infrastructure-- Improve public infrastructure and eliminate conditions which are detrimental to health, safety and public welfare.
- Housing-- Conserve and expand Illinois' housing stock to provide decent housing and a suitable living environment for low-and-moderate income individuals and persons with disabilities.
- Other community needs-- Address needs that will build or sustain the economic vitality of communities through a variety of program-eligible projects