Since 1977, the Community Development division has provided technical assistance and staff support to local governments in the region in the application and administration of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
These funds are available to local governments on a competitive basis for the purpose of improving economic opportunities and meeting community revitalization needs especially for persons from low to moderate income households. A variety of activities are eligible under this program with the main emphasis being on water, sewer and housing improvements that benefit low to moderate persons.
The State of South Carolina through the SC Department of Commerce participates in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD), Small Cities Program that provides an annual allocation of CDBG funds to the State.
These funds are distributed to eligible local governments through a competitive process. The CDBG Annual Program Statement is available on the Department of Commerce’s website and describes the types of eligible activities, amount of funding available and the schedule of the funding deadlines. This information is available on the Department of Commerce CDBG link listed under Links.
The Upper Savannah staff is available to help local governments develop and plan for community needs that can be addressed through the CDBG program. Technical assistance and project development with the Upper Savannah CDBG staff is critical to accessing these funds and addressing eligible needs.
An application for this program must benefit at least 51% low to moderate income persons and must contribute to the creation of healthy and sustainable communities by alleviating documented threats to the public health or welfare of the community or providing improved access to critical public facilities needs including water, sewer, roads and drainage. Related housing rehab activities may be eligible in a target area where new water and sewer service is being provided.
An application for these funds must include activities that will increase economic competitiveness by conserving or revitalizing commercial or downtown areas. Communities must demonstrate that they have undertaken an organized planning process and have a locally adopted downtown plan). Projects may include public facilities such as underground utilities, street, sidewalk or parking improvements, as well as building façade renovations.
Application must contribute to community’s overall economic competitiveness and address a significant priority need. Promotes innovative and comprehensive approaches to achieve community sustainability and build on existing resources and unique assets of the community. May include infrastructure for economic development (not residential), public facilities and or services, education and workforce development, entrepreneurial training, asset based development, elimination of blighting conditions or activities not otherwise eligible in other categories and overcome barriers to economic development. Multi use centers may be eligible if focused on workforce and education. Activities that support speculative development are not eligible for this program.
Local Planning Program
The purpose of this program is to undertake planning activities that contribute to community sustainability and overall economic competitiveness including date gathering, in depth analyses and assessments, planning studies, a review of alternatives and identification of recommended strategies for implementing plans and developing an application. This planning activity must result in an outcome that if carried out could result in an eligible CDBG application. The activity must qualify under either national objective of benefit to LMI persons or prevention/elimination of slums and blight.
Business Development Assistance
To provide assistance to local governments to improve and create new jobs, retain existing jobs or stimulate private investment. Grant assistance dependent upon county status and need. Economic development projects are funded throughout the year, as CDBG assistance is required. Funding is approved by the Department of Commerce. Assistance is generally tied to the creation or retention of jobs in which 51% must be held by low to moderate-income persons or to stimulate private investment or revitalize or facilitate the growth of the local economy. A maximum of $10,000 of CDBG funds per job is generally enforced but a waiver for distressed and least developed counties may be made up to $25 per job. Relocation of a business within the State is not generally permitted.