Community Development

Public Grant Programs

Community Development Block Grant Program

The Community Development Block Grant Program is the consolidation of 10 federal housing and urban development programs into one flexible grant that provides funding for local improvement projects. The objective of the program is to develop urban communities through decent housing, suitable environments, and expanded economic opportunities. Every project must meet one of these conditions:

  • Directly benefit low-and moderate-income residents
  • Eliminate and prevent blight and property deterioration
  • Serve an urgent need

Plan Development

The Department of Community Development develops Cleveland's application for these funds. To qualify, the City must have an approved multi-year strategic plan for housing and community development. A plan must be submitted to HUD annually with budgets and detailed information about activities to be undertaken in the upcoming program year.

The Department develops the consolidated budget by working in conjunction with other City departments, City Council, residents and prospective third-party agencies including neighborhood organizations.

Public Participation

Planning stage meetings are conducted to solicit information regarding neighborhood needs and project suggestions. These may be citywide or conducted within planning regions. Notifying planning sessions and public hearings is accomplished through full use of newspaper, social media, and newsletters.

Those unable to attend a session and those who need special accommodations may call 216.664.2869, or contact Community Development via email to offer suggestions.

Application Process and Public Notice

Once public input is incorporated, the proposed application is submitted to City Council for review and a summary is published in the local newspaper. The final version is published when it is submitted to HUD. The entire application can be seen at all times in room 320 of City Hall and at the Public Administration Library on the main floor.

A public notice announcing the Grantee Performance Report is published annually in the Plain Dealer and through social media.  The report provides financial information and other data to evaluate the progress of Block Grant-funded activities. Copies are available for viewing year-round in City Hall.

Grant-Eligible Activities Include:

HousingPublic ImprovementsLand Use
New ConstructionPlayground Rehabilitation 
Mortgage AssistancePool Rehabilitation 
Fair HousingSidewalk ReplacementVacant Lot Cleanup
Code EnforcementCurb ReplacementLand Banking
Rehab AssistanceStreetlightsLand Reutilization
WeatherizationCatch BasinsUrban Gardening
Board-UpTrees and Lawns 


Public ServicesCommercial Development
Crime Prevention & Safety 
HealthTechnical Assistance to CDC's
MealsSmall Business Loans
ShelterStorefront Renovation
Elderly ServicesStorefront Design Assistance
Youth ServicesSignage
Education & TutoringSite Improvement
Job Training & PlacementOff-Street Parking
Day Care 

Social Services Operating Support Grant

Eligibility Requirements

The Department will fund programs and services that improve the quality of life for low-to-moderate-income persons. Special consideration will be given to activities that stabilize neighborhoods and initiatives that provide skill-building opportunities for youth ages 14-18. 

Grants awarded through the Social Service Operating Support Program will be secured and monitored through a contract, with actual disbursements allocated monthly. The maximum grant provided through this program is $150,000.

Eligible programs must primarily benefit low-to-moderate-income residents of the City of Cleveland and be in operation for at least two (2) years. Eligible organizations must be in operation for at least five (5) fiscal years and provide applicable documents listed on the Attachment Checklist. If the proposed program identifies a specific service area within the City, only areas in which 51% or more of the residents are low- and moderate-income persons are eligible.

Submission Requirements

Agencies seeking support for social service programs must submit a proposal for each program through the Department’s online Grant Management Portal (Neighborly). A Request for Proposals is announced annually.  

Applications must be responsive to the information requested. Proposals must be completed in detail to be sufficiently evaluated. Annual reports, newspaper articles, and brochures provide valuable information as attachments, but they cannot be submitted instead of a response to the proposal questions. 

Citywide Development Assistance Grant

The Citywide Development Assistance Program supports non-profit organizations with revitalizing Cleveland's housing stock and neighborhood commercial districts.

Eligible programs must accomplish, at a minimum, one of the following objectives:

  1. Provide comprehensive counseling services to help homeowners remain in their homes
  2. Increase affordable housing opportunities for renter households
  3. Implement a strategy to address vacant and abandoned structures effectively
  4. Stimulate the renovation or rehabilitation of vacant and abandoned structures
  5. Increase the availability of incentive-based housing rehabilitation programs for Cleveland residents
  6. Strengthen the demand for housing through marketing and purchase assistance
  7. Strengthen and stabilize neighborhood commercial districts

Eligible programs must address one (1) of the following National Objectives as designated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

  1. Provide benefit(s) for low-to-moderate-income persons
  2. Aid in the elimination of slums and blighted conditions

Eligible Uses

Grants may be used for reasonable operating costs, including administrative costs, professional staff, technical services, and overhead.

The contract term for the grant awarded will cover a twelve (12) month period. 

CDC Activity Grant

The primary objective of the CDC Activity Grant Program is to create and maintain affordable housing opportunities and commercial services in low to moderate-income areas. 

CDC Activity Grant Requirements

CHDOs (Community Housing Development Organizations) and CBDOs (Community-Based Development Organizations) can propose Matrix Code 05 public service activities. At least 51% of the CDC board members must be low- or moderate-income residents of the service area, owners or senior officers of private establishments and other institutions located in the service area, or representatives of low and moderate-income neighborhood organizations in the service area. Representation on the CDC's Board cannot be the member's only nonprofit service to qualify. 

  • Funding for Matrix 05 cannot exceed 15% of the total grant amount 
  • Funding for Planning and Public Information (Matrices 20 and 21C) is capped at 3% of the total grant amount

Also, please note the following program changes: 

The Housing Rehabilitation Referral Services cap is increased to 15% of the Annual Activity Cost for Matrix Code 14H. The cap for Interim Assistance (Matrix Code 06) is reduced to 20% of the total grant amount.

Multi-Family Housing Rehabilitation (14B) and New Construction (12) are no longer administered through the CDC Activity Grant Program contract. A separate proposal and budget are required for projects under these categories. See the attached guidance for instructions on applying for funding for Multi-Family Housing Rehabilitation (14B) and New Construction (12) projects.

Matrix Code 05 Public Service Activities must support creating and maintaining affordable housing opportunities and commercial development in low and moderate-income neighborhoods. Eligible activities include:

  • Senior Home Maintenance and Repair
  • Landlord-Tenant Outreach, Mediation, and Fair Housing
  • Financial Literacy in conjunction with Homebuyer Education
  • Workforce Development/Hire Local
  • Commercial Security Patrol and Crime Prevention
  • Graffiti Removal

Ineligible Service Programs

The following public service programs cannot be included in the CDC Activity Grant Program contract. These activities must be contracted separately through the Department's Social Service Operating Support Program or an NDA-funded application:

  • Senior Grass Cutting and Landscaping
  • Youth Recreation
  • General Instruction Computer Lab
  • Emergency Food and Farmer's Market
  • General Job Readiness 
  • Earned Income Tax Credit Assistance
  • Neighborhood Clean Up

Interim Assistance Activities

Matrix Code 06 Interim Assistance Activities provides limited improvements/services that remove or eliminate slum or blighted areas and conditions that threaten public health and safety. These activities make neighborhoods more livable or viable for low-and moderate-income persons. 

Monthly reporting will include the number and nature of each clean-up campaign, location of litter sweeps or blight elimination in the public right of way, address, and permanent parcel numbers of properties cleaned.

Application Scoring

Applications will be scored and funded based on an assessment of multiple factors:

  • Community needs
  • Consistency with the City of Cleveland's Consolidated Plan 
  • Organizational Capacity
  • Performance under previous contracts

Please note that activities and proposed outcomes detailed in your application, if approved, will be the basis of your PY2021 CDC Activity Grant Program contract. Your proposed budget should include anticipated NDA awards for CDC Activity Grant program activities only. Any CDC expecting NDA funds must obtain the Councilperson's signatures on a Letter of Intent specifying the funding amount agreed upon by the Councilperson.  A Letter of Interest (LOI) is required for each NDA amount listed in the proposal. 


Debra Prater, Contract Administration Manager

Martin Bielat, Compliance Manager

Neighborhood Development Activity Grants

Neighborhood Development Activity Programs (NDA) are activities benefiting low-and moderate-income residents that are funded by Cleveland City Council representatives, through a line-item set-aside of CDBG funds.  NDA activities are generally categorized as public services and other special activities, but City Council often uses these funds to supplement CDC Activity Grant Programs.


  • Community Development Corporations
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • City Departments providing eligible services
  • City Departments improving eligible public facilities
  • City Department improving eligible infrastructure


There is no RFP process for NDA Program funds.  Applications are available year-round.  Grantees are encouraged to submit applications early in the program year to ensure sufficient funding is available. 

The annual line-item award for NDA funding is a negotiated amount set by the Department of Community Development and Cleveland City Council.  Since 2019, this amount has been $7,400,000 annually, with each Ward representative receiving $435,000 to support CDBG-eligible recipients serving their communities, at their discretion.  The amount each ward can allocate to Public Service programs is capped at $75,000/year. NDA ward balances automatically roll over each program year, but the Public Service cap must be used within the allotted program year.


Joy Anderson (General) and Jeff Kucharski (Fund/Balances) at 216.664.4000.

Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)

This federal CPD program grant is designed to help improve the quality of existing emergency shelters for the homeless,  make additional shelters available,  meet the costs of operating shelters,  provide essential social services to homeless individuals, and  help prevent homelessness. 

ESG also provides short-term homelessness prevention assistance to persons at imminent risk of losing their own housing due to eviction, foreclosure, or utility shutoffs.


Cleveland (“The City”), as an ESG Entitlement City, must coordinate with Cuyahoga County’s Continuum of Care (“CoC”) on both the allocation of funds and performance measurements. 

All ESG activities must be consistent with the Department of Community Development’s Consolidated Plan and must fall under one of the five (5) ESG program components: Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter, Homelessness Prevention, Rapid Re-Housing, HMIS/Administrative.

Grant Coordination

The City of Cleveland coordinates its ESG funds with those received by Cuyahoga County, along with any Homeless Crisis Response Program (“HCRP”) funds allocated to Cuyahoga County by the Department of Development for the State of Ohio for programs designed to rapidly exit families, youth, and single adults from homelessness.

The Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services (“OHS”) is the Lead Agency for the county, which is a network of homeless service providers that implement homeless services and housing assistance through a Coordinated Community response.

The ESG program provides funding to:

  1. Engage homeless individuals and families living on the street
  2. Improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families
  3. Help operate shelters
  4. Provide essential services to shelter residents
  5. Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families
  6. Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless

Dollar-for-dollar match (cash or in-kind), Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) participation, financial reporting in IDIS, and performance reporting in SAGE are all requisite aspects of the ESG program. Program participants in the ESG program must be connected with mainstream resources and be regularly re-evaluated for eligibility – (every three months for Homeless Prevention services and annually for Rapid Re-Housing).


Non-Profits providing services and shelter to those experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness.


Funding is made available through an annual Request for Proposals in partnership with the Cuyahoga Office of Homeless Services. This RFP is issued in June of each year.


The City of Cleveland prioritizes the following within its ESG programming:

  1. Housing First
  2. Harm Reduction
  3. Trauma Informed Care

A review committee scores and ranks all proposals. Awards are determined by requested amount, scores, and the amount of funding available. A decision memo is then presented to the Director of Community Development.


Martin Bielat, 216.664.4094

Application intake: Community Development and Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

HOPWA provides housing assistance, support services, resources and incentives to low-income individuals with HIV/AIDS, including their families. HOPWA funds may also be used for health care and mental health services, chemical dependency treatment, nutritional services, case management, assistance with daily living, and other support services.

The focus of HOPWA is on housing activities, including the acquisition, rehabilitation, and construction of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) facilities or community residences, rental assistance payments, and housing information services. Other related support services focused on housing stability are also eligible for funding, including mental health, drug and alcohol abuse treatment and counseling, personal assistance, and nutritional services.

The goal of the AIDS Prevention Program is to reduce the rate of new HIV infections among Cleveland residents.  Prevention interventions must utilize theoretical approaches that are evidence-based and scientifically proven. The City of Cleveland provides CDBG to match HUD allocation of HOPWA funding.


Non-profit organizations serving people with HIV/AIDS.


A Request for Proposal (RFP) is released by the Department of Public Health to current grantees and others by request once every two (2) years, with a proposal due date occurring every other year in the spring.  Grantee awards are announced in June.


Awards are determined by the Department of Public Health review process.


Tiffany Greene (General), Martin Bielat (Compliance), Jeff Kucharski (Fund/Balance)