Municipal Code Enforcement Departments play a crucial role in maintaining safe, thriving communities. However, securing sufficient funding to support your endeavors can be a challenging task. Fortunately, there are various grant funding opportunities available that can provide the financial boost needed to strengthen code enforcement efforts. In this blog post, we will explore some essential resources and funding options, including federal and state grants, that can empower your department to enhance code enforcement practices and contribute to a safer, more resilient community.
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program: The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is a federal grant that provides financial assistance to local governments for a range of community development initiatives, including code enforcement. With CDBG funds, your department can cover expenses related to personnel salaries, equipment procurement, and necessary resources to ensure code compliance. Funds may only be used on blighted areas being renewed by comprehensive treatment with an expectation that the efforts will slow and reverse the deterioration. To align with CDBG national priorities, “[the] code enforcement is targeted at a designated slum or blighted area and: (1) Is designed to address one or more of the conditions which contributed to the deterioration of the area; and (2) The code enforcement, together with public improvements, rehabilitation, and services to be provided, may be expected to arrest the decline of the area.” Additional regulations apply. Read more about using CDBG funds for code enforcement activities here (page 60). Or, check out this webinar and slides about using CDBG funds for code enforcement.
Need assistance identifying qualifying areas? Get in touch to learn about our Blight Reports.
- Choice Neighborhoods Planning & Implementation Grants: The Choice Neighborhood Planning and Implementation Grant Programs, administered by HUD, are designed to revitalize distressed neighborhoods and create vibrant, sustainable communities. The Planning Grant offers funding to develop comprehensive transformation plans that address affordable housing, community assets, education, and job opportunities through extensive community engagement and collaboration. The Implementation Grant supports the execution of these plans, fostering mixed-income housing, improving infrastructure, and enhancing public amenities. Code enforcement activities are an eligible expense under both the Planning Grant and Implementation Grant. Together, these initiatives aim to uplift communities, creating better housing options, economic opportunities, and a stronger sense of community pride for residents. By combining strategic planning and implementation, these programs work towards transforming distressed neighborhoods into thriving, inclusive, and prosperous places to live.
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP): The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is designed to help state and local governments mitigate disaster risks. FEMA reports that “residential buildings account for over 80% of disaster-related damage” and yet only one-third of at-risk municipalities have adopted the latest natural hazard-resistant codes. HMGP funding can be utilized up to 180 days after a disaster strikes in the post-disaster areas. Investing in measures that safeguard against potential hazards will protect residents and reduce long-term recovery costs. Read more about how the HMGP helped communities in Florida and the Virgin Islands save millions of dollars.
- Building Code and Floodplain Management Administration and Enforcement: FEMA provides additional assistance during disaster recovery through the Disaster Recovery Assistance Program (DRAP). DRAP provides financial support to state and local governments for recovery efforts to “provide communities with the resources needed to effectively administer and enforce state and locally adopted building codes and floodplain management ordinances for a period of no longer than 180 days after the date of the major disaster declaration.” The DRAP is direct financial assistance under both Public Assistance (PA) and Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA). For more information watch the webinar here.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers various grant programs that can be instrumental in supporting code enforcement activities. For instance, the Brownfield Assessment Grant can be used for code enforcement focuses on assessing the extent and priority of rubbish deposits, trash accumulation, and illegal dumping (see examples) that may lead to contaminated properties. By tapping into EPA grants, your department can address environmental concerns and ensure code compliance related to land and water usage. Learn more about EPA grants related to code enforcement activities here:
- State and Local Grants: Many states and local governments have grant programs tailored to address specific community needs, including code enforcement. These grants may target areas with high rates of code violations or low-income communities requiring enhanced enforcement efforts. Keep a close eye on your state’s housing or environmental agency website to stay informed about such opportunities. Check out examples from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
By exploring resources like the CDBG program, Choice Neighborhood, HMGP, DRA, EPA grants, and state/local grants, your department can secure the necessary financial support to implement proactive code enforcement practices. Regularly visit the websites of relevant organizations, such as HUD, FEMA, EPA, and your state’s housing or environmental agency, to stay up-to-date on funding opportunities and take significant steps towards fostering a safer, resilient community for all.
All grants require data. To learn how City Detect can support your application and implementation efforts, contact us today for a free consultation.