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Highlights

The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (act) creating the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides entitlement communities (metropolitan cities and urban counties) and states with significant discretion in how they distribute funds for eligible activities. Because of this discretion, entitlement communities may use a variety of processes to select individual projects and states may also use different methods to distribute funds to non-entitlement communities. GAO was asked to report on (1) the various methods by which entitlement communities use and distribute their CDBG funds to individual projects within their jurisdictions; (2) the various methods by which states distribute CDBG funds to non-entitlement communities; and (3) HUD's role in overseeing these methods. GAO interviewed CDBG administrators for 20 entitlement communities (the 10 largest by funding and 10 randomly selected) and 5 states (reflecting variety of methods used and geography) and reviewed documents related to their CDBG funding decisions, including the annual action plans for all 50 states. GAO also spoke with CDBG stakeholders, reviewed relevant statutes and regulations, interviewed HUD field office staff and reviewed monitoring documentation.

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