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Community Development Block Grant Formula: Targeting Assistance to High-Need Communities Could Be Enhanced

GAO-05-622T Published: Apr 26, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2005.
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Congress asked GAO to comment on the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) 2005 report on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), "CDBG Formula Targeting to Community Development Need." The CDBG program distributes funding to communities using two separate formulas that take into account poverty, older housing, community size, and other factors. That study evaluates the program's funding formula from two perspectives: (1) to what extent do communities with similar needs receive similar CDBG funding, and (2) to what extent are program funds directed to communities with greater community development needs. The HUD report is particularly salient in light of the administration's 2006 budget request which criticizes the program for not effectively targeting high-need communities. Congress asked us to provide our views on the HUD study based on our experience and past assistance to various congressional committees on a wide variety of federal formula funding issues.

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Block grantsCommunity developmentCommunity development programsFederal grantsGrants to local governmentsProgram evaluationProgram managementCommunitiesEligibility criteriaHigh-need communities