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Developing Performance Measures for the Community Development Block Grant Program

The Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), awards funds to cities, counties and states on a formula-driven basis. States, in turn, award their share of funding to smaller units of government competitively.

The program, budgeted at $4.3 billion on average for the past six years, provides wide discretion to entitlement communities and states as they undertake activities to develop viable communities through decent housing, suitable living environments and expanded economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income people. Although HUD gathers a wealth of performance-relevant data from its grantees, many are not widely reported or available. HUD asked the National Academy, as a subcontractor to QED, to develop a set of performance measures for the CDBG program that would comply with requirements of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Government Performance and Results Act, President’s Management Agenda and Program Assessment Rating Tool administered by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The measures ideally would serve communities’ and states’ management needs.

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Key Findings

This study was based on a multi-pronged assessment of community development practices generally, and CDBG specifically. The report provided a step-by-step review of CDBG performance measurement and issues surrounding the development of performance indicators. The Academy Panel and staff developed a set of performance measures that satisfy HUD, OMB, and grantee stakeholders.


The Panel’s fundamental conclusion was that there was sufficient common ground among stakeholders to construct a performance measurement system consistent with the statutory provisions and management tools discussed above.