Community Development Block Grant

CDBG: What is it?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the nation's eighth largest federal domestic program, provides funding for a wide variety of activities in more than 1,000 communities across the country.  Since 1974, CDBG funding has allowed communities to design locally viable programs to provide safe, affordable housing, suitable living environments and necessary public services and facilities for low- and moderate-income persons and families.  The CDBG program has provided a critical revenue source that opens the door by assisting City residents through programs and projects that are beyond the City budget.

How does Newton benefit?
Over the life of the program, CDBG funds in Newton have provided critical human services to more than 4,000 low- and moderate-income Newton residents per year, rehabilitated more than 1,500 homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners, developed more than 730 units of affordable housing, made accessibility improvements in 119 public facilities, improved 83 Newton roadways, improved more than 36 playgrounds and parks, and provided economic development loans and grants to 17 Newton businesses.  CDBG funding has had a far-reaching effect in supporting the growing and ever changing needs of our city.

Newton has received millions of dollars over the life of this highly successful program and has leveraged millions more in private and public sector dollars, making precious CDBG dollars stretch even further.  Currently, the City of Newton receives approximately $1.7 million in CDBG funds annually.

Are CDBG funds used throughout the City, or only in specific neighborhoods?
Most of Newton's CDBG funds are used to help low- and moderate-income residents throughout the City.  The one exception to this is the neighborhood improvement program.  Because these funds benefit a particular neighborhood and not a specific low- or moderate-income person, neighborhood improvement funds must be used in the areas of the city with the highest concentrations of low- and moderate-income people.  Based on American Community Survey data, these target neighborhoods include portions  of Nonantum, Newtonville, Newton Corner, West Newton, and Upper Falls (beginning July 1, 2015).

How is the use of CDBG funds determined?
Every five years the City works with Newton residents, citizen advisory committees, the Planning and Development Board, as well as other groups and organizations to develop a five-year Consolidated Plan. The Plan documents Newton's housing and community development needs, outlines strategies to address those needs, and identifies proposed program accomplishments.  Click here to access the City of Newton FY16-20 Consolidated Plan online.
Based on the five-year plan, each year the City develops an Annual Action Plan that lists the specific projects to be undertaken during the program year.  The FY16 Annual Action Plan is also available online.  Both the Consolidated Plan and the Annual Action Plan must be approved by the Mayor prior to submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

How can a Newton resident get involved with the CDBG Program?
In order to ensure citizen participation in the CDBG program areas, a number of citizen advisory committees have been created, with members appointed by the Mayor. These advisory committees, which are listed below, make funding, programmatic and policy recommendations to the Planning and Development Board, which then makes recommendations to the Mayor.  

  • Human Service Advisory Committee
  • Commission on Disability
  • Newton Housing Partnership
  • Target Neighborhood Advisory Committees

How does the City of Newton spend its entitlement funding?
The City of Newton expends CDBG funds on a wide variety of projects and programs benefiting low- and moderate-income residents.  Funds are currently spent on are six program areas:

  • Housing Rehabilitation
  • Housing Development
  • Human Services
  • Neighborhood Improvements
  • Architectural Access
  • Economic Development

For more information on the City's CDBG Program, please contact the Planning & Development Department at (617) 796-1120 or visit

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