From April 17 – 22, cities, counties, and states will mark National Community Development Week. National Community Development Week is designed to draw attention to and celebrate the accomplishments of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The CDBG program provides grants to over 1,200 State and local governments and funds activities such as housing rehabilitation, business assistance, senior services, and infrastructure – to name a few.
Since 1975, Eugene has received an annual CDBG allocation of over $1 million to address the needs of low-income people and neighborhoods. The use of these funds are guided through the Eugene-Springfield Consolidated Plan and annual Action Plans adopted by City Council. Community members provide significant guidance through the City’s CDBG Advisory Committee and dozens of community partners are involved in the implementation of 10 CDBG programs.
CDBG has been a critical resource to support our community’s economic prosperity, housing opportunities, and human services. These investments have resulted in hundreds of new jobs and affordable homes. In addition, local CDBG investments have created facilities and supported the operations of human services agencies that provide critical services such as food assistance, homeless case management, and care for domestic violence survivors. Three examples of how CDBG has resulted in tangible outcomes for Eugene are provided below.
Affordable Housing – Polk Street Apartments Provide Affordable Housing for Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
Through Eugene’s CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Fund, the City provided a loan to the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) for the rehabilitation of 12 one-bedroom apartments located at 89 North Polk Street. The development is the first in Oregon to be dedicated to housing and services for young adults entering independence from foster care.
Human Services – Providing Critical Support and Services to Those in Need at Catholic Community Service
City CDBG funds helped Catholic Community Services (CCS) purchase their current facility on West 6th Avenue and have supported building improvements that have increased access and the services that can be provided. More than 10,000 people a year receive services at CCS, including individuals and families experiencing homelessness, low-income people, unemployed and underemployed people, and families with children. The Service Center is the largest distributor of food boxes among 150 Food for Lane County partners. The Catholic Community Services Eugene Service Center has been able to maintain, enhance and expand their services over time through facility improvements and ongoing operational support provided through the City of Eugene’s CDBG programs.
Economic Prosperity – Business Development Fund (BDF) Helps Launch Local Brewery, Create Jobs
In 2006, the City of Eugene provided start-up financing through the CDBG’s Business Development Fund (BDF) to help a fledgling brewery called Ninkasi establish a facility at 272 Van Buren. In 2009, the City provided financing assistance to support Ninkasi Brewing’s increasing production demands as they continued to expand their production. The BDF program supported the creation of 59 jobs during this time period. Since then, Ninkasi has grown to over 100 employees and has become the 33rd largest craft brewer in the US.
National Community Development Week started in 1986, and now in its 31st year, regularly has hundreds of communities participating each year. For more information on the programs and activities of local CDBG program visit https://www.eugene-or.gov/869/CDBG-and-HOME-Grants.