CDBG Capital

The County of Santa Barbara receives an annual allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. CDBG regulations permit the use of funds for a wide range of activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Housing Activities
  • Real Property Improvements
  • Public Facilities, Special Assessments, and Privately-owned Utilities
  • Economic Development activities

CDBG funds may be used to pay for construction costs, project management, labor and materials, etc.

Applicants may access the CDBG guide, Basically CDBG for information on eligible activities at:

Eligible applicants include:

  • Non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization under IRS rules;
  • For-Profit organizations (limitations apply); and
  • Public Sector Jurisdictions.

Projects and Programs must:

1. Serve a clientele where at least 51% of the persons served have household incomes at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI), as determined and published by HUD annually (Limited Clientele), or

2. Exclusively serve persons who are presumed to be low-income, which include, abused children, battered spouses, elderly persons, adults meeting the Bureau of the Census' Current Population Reports definition of "severely disabled," homeless persons, illiterate adults, persons living with AIDS, and migrant farm workers (Presumed Benefit), or

3. Have as its service area an area that is primarily residential and the service area census tracts are those where at least 51% of the residents are low-income (Area Benefit). The service area may be a neighborhood, a city, or a portion of the County identified by census tracts. Note that a service area that includes the entire County does not qualify.

Economic Development activities (other than assistance to micro-enterprise businesses) have additional requirements and are not addressed in this attachment. Refer to the CDBG guide and call HCD for more information.

Applicant Criteria

County applications are reviewed by HCD staff for basic CDBG eligibility. Eligible applications then are forwarded for review by the County's Capital Loan Committee, along with HCD's recommendations for funding, based on project readiness, project timeline and other factors. The Capital Loan Committee may concur with staff recommendations or make other recommendations. Recommendations then are forwarded to the County Board of Supervisors for final funding awards.

Project considerations include:

  • Amount of request and percent of CDBG funds to total project costs
  • Project budget
  • Project readiness and timeline
  • Level of environmental review required
  • Population to be served
  • Program meets a community need
  • Staff capacity and experience in managing federal capital development projects
  • Financial capacity
  • Commitment to comply with federal regulations, including income-qualifying beneficiaries per 24 CFR 5.609-617 (Area Benefit and Presumed Benefit activities excluded)

Real estate improved with CDBG funds is subject to a five year "use period," meaning that the use of the facility must remain the same for the five year period. Housing projects may be subject to longer term restrictions on occupant income and monthly rent for rental housing, and homeowner income and sales price on homeowner housing.

Urban County Partnership

The member cities, Buellton, Carpinteria, and Solvang, under the CDBG Urban County partnership may make their own funding decisions for their distributions of CDBG funds or may include their funds in the County's review and approval process. Applicants should assure that they have marked the appropriate box on the application to apply for those jurisdictions' funds. Applicants must also include a letter of support from the City if City funds are requested.

The County may jointly fund eligible projects with member cities; however, the applicant must provide documentation demonstrating the City's support of the project, as well as the City's knowledge of the application being made to the County for funding.


For more information, contact:

Carlos Jimenez, Community Development Program Specialist


Phone: (805) 568-3529