24 CFR § 570.200 - General policies.
(a) Determination of eligibility. An activity may be assisted in whole or in part with CDBG funds only if all of the following requirements are met:
(1) Compliance with section 105 of the Act. Each activity must meet the eligibility requirements of section 105 of the Act as further defined in this subpart.
(2) Compliance with national objectives. Grant recipients under the Entitlement and HUD-administered Small Cities programs and recipients of insular area funds under section 106 of the Act must certify that their projected use of funds has been developed so as to give maximum feasible priority to activities which will carry out one of the national objectives of benefit to low- and moderate-income families or aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight. The projected use of funds may also include activities that the recipient certifies are designed to meet other community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community where other financial resources are not available to meet such needs. Consistent with the foregoing, each recipient under the Entitlement or HUD-administered Small Cities programs, and each recipient of insular area funds under section 106 of the Act must ensure and maintain evidence that each of its activities assisted with CDBG funds meets one of the three national objectives as contained in its certification. Criteria for determining whether an activity addresses one or more of these objectives are found in § 570.208.
(3) Compliance with the primary objective. The primary objective of the Act is described in section 101(c) of the Act. Consistent with this objective, entitlement recipients, non-entitlement CDBG grantees in Hawaii, and recipients of insular area funds under section 106 of the Act must ensure that, over a period of time specified in their certification not to exceed three years, not less than 70 percent of the aggregate of CDBG fund expenditures shall be for activities meeting the criteria under § 570.208(a) or under § 570.208(d)(5) or (6) for benefiting low- and moderate-income persons. For grants under section 107 of the Act, insular area recipients must meet this requirement for each separate grant. See § 570.420(d)(3) for additional discussion of the primary objective requirement for insular areas funded under section 106 of the Act. The requirements for the HUD-administered Small Cities program in New York are at § 570.420(d)(2). In determining the percentage of funds expended for such activities:
(i) Cost of administration and planning eligible under § 570.205 and § 570.206 will be assumed to benefit low and moderate income persons in the same proportion as the remainder of the CDBG funds and, accordingly shall be excluded from the calculation;
(ii) Funds deducted by HUD for repayment of urban renewal temporary loans pursuant to § 570.802(b) shall be excluded;
(iii) Funds expended for the repayment of loans guaranteed under the provisions of subpart M of this part (including repayment of the portion of a loan used to pay any issuance, servicing, underwriting, or other costs as may be incurred under § 570.705(g)) shall also be excluded;
(iv) Funds expended for the acquisition, new construction or rehabilitation of property for housing that qualifies under § 570.208(a)(3) shall be counted for this purpose but shall be limited to an amount determined by multiplying the total cost (including CDBG and non-CDBG costs) of the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation by the percent of units in such housing to be occupied by low and moderate income persons.
(v) Funds expended for any other activities qualifying under § 570.208(a) shall be counted for this purpose in their entirety.
(4) Compliance with environmental review procedures. The environmental review procedures set forth at 24 CFR part 58 must be completed for each activity (or project as defined in 24 CFR part 58), as applicable.
(5) Cost principles. Costs incurred, whether charged on a direct or an indirect basis, must be in conformance with 2 CFR part 200, subpart E. All items of cost listed in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E, that require prior Federal agency approval are allowable without prior approval of HUD to the extent they comply with the general policies and principles stated in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E and are otherwise eligible under this subpart C, except for the following:
(i) Depreciation methods for fixed assets shall not be changed without the approval of the Federal cognizant agency.
(ii) Fines penalties, damages, and other settlements are unallowable costs to the CDBG program.
(iii) Costs of housing (e.g., depreciation, maintenance, utilities, furnishings, rent), housing allowances and personal living expenses (goods or services for personal use) regardless of whether reported as taxable income to the employees (2 CFR 200.445);
(iv) Organization costs (2 CFR 200.455); and
(v) Pre-award costs are limited to those authorized under paragraph (h) of this section.
(b) Special policies governing facilities. The following special policies apply to:
(1) Facilities containing both eligible and ineligible uses. A public facility otherwise eligible for assistance under the CDBG program may be provided with CDBG funds even if it is part of a multiple use building containing ineligible uses, if:
(i) The facility which is otherwise eligible and proposed for assistance will occupy a designated and discrete area within the larger facility; and
(ii) The recipient can determine the costs attributable to the facility proposed for assistance as separate and distinct from the overall costs of the multiple-use building and/or facility.
(2) Fees for use of facilities. Reasonable fees may be charged for the use of the facilities assisted with CDBG funds, but charges such as excessive membership fees, which will have the effect of precluding low and moderate income persons from using the facilities, are not permitted.
(c) Special assessments under the CDBG program. The following policies relate to special assessments under the CDBG program:
(1) Definition of special assessment. The term “special assessment” means the recovery of the capital costs of a public improvement, such as streets, water or sewer lines, curbs, and gutters, through a fee or charge levied or filed as a lien against a parcel of real estate as a direct result of benefit derived from the installation of a public improvement, or a one-time charge made as a condition of access to a public improvement. This term does not relate to taxes, or the establishment of the value of real estate for the purpose of levying real estate, property, or ad valorem taxes, and does not include periodic charges based on the use of a public improvement, such as water or sewer user charges, even if such charges include the recovery of all or some portion of the capital costs of the public improvement.
(2) Special assessments to recover capital costs. Where CDBG funds are used to pay all or part of the cost of a public improvement, special assessments may be imposed as follows:
(ii) Special assessments to recover the non-CDBG portion may be made provided that CDBG funds are used to pay the special assessment in behalf of all properties owned and occupied by low and moderate income persons; except that CDBG funds need not be used to pay the special assessments in behalf of properties owned and occupied by moderate income persons if the grant recipient certifies that it does not have sufficient CDBG funds to pay the assessments in behalf of all of the low and moderate income owner-occupant persons. Funds collected through such special assessments are not program income.
(3) Public improvements not initially assisted with CDBG funds. The payment of special assessments with CDBG funds constitutes CDBG assistance to the public improvement. Therefore, CDBG funds may be used to pay special assessments provided:
(i) The installation of the public improvements was carried out in compliance with requirements applicable to activities assisted under this part including environmental, citizen participation and Davis-Bacon requirements;
(ii) The installation of the public improvement meets a criterion for national objectives in § 570.208(a)(1), (b), or (c); and
(iii) The requirements of § 570.200(c)(2)(ii) are met.
(d) Consultant activities. Consulting services are eligible for assistance under this part for professional assistance in program planning, development of community development objectives, and other general professional guidance relating to program execution. The use of consultants is governed by the following:
(1) Employer-employee type of relationship. No person providing consultant services in an employer-employee type of relationship shall receive more than a reasonable rate of compensation for personal services paid with CDBG funds. In no event, however, shall such compensation exceed the equivalent of the daily rate paid for Level IV of the Executive Schedule. Such services shall be evidenced by written agreements between the parties which detail the responsibilities, standards, and compensation.
(2) Independent contractor relationship. Consultant services provided under an independent contractor relationship are governed by the procurement requirements in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D, and are not subject to the compensation limitation of Level IV of the Executive Schedule.
(e) Recipient determinations required as a condition of eligibility. In several instances under this subpart, the eligibility of an activity depends on a special local determination. Recipients shall maintain documentation of all such determinations. A written determination is required for any activity carried out under the authority of §§ 570.201(f), 570.201(i)(2), 570.201(p), 570.201(q), 570.202(b)(3), 570.206(f), 570.209, 570.210, and 570.309.
(f) Means of carrying out eligible activities.
(1) Activities eligible under this subpart, other than those authorized under § 570.204(a), may be undertaken, subject to local law:
(i) By the recipient through:
(A) Its employees, or
(B) Procurement contracts governed by the requirements of 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; or
(ii) Through loans or grants under agreements with subrecipients, as defined at § 570.500(c); or
(2) Activities made eligible under § 570.204(a) may only be undertaken by entities specified in that section.
(g) Limitation on planning and administrative costs—(1) Origin year grant expenditure test. For origin year 2015 grants and subsequent grants, no more than 20 percent of any origin year grant shall be expended for planning and program administrative costs, as defined in §§ 570.205 and 570.206, respectively. Expenditures of program income for planning and program administrative costs are excluded from this calculation.
(2) Program year obligation test. For all grants and recipients subject to subpart D, the amount of CDBG funds obligated during each program year for planning plus administrative costs, as defined in §§ 570.205 and 570.206, respectively, shall be limited to an amount no greater than 20 percent of the sum of the grant made for that program year (if any) plus the program income received by the recipient and its subrecipients (if any) during that program year. For origin year 2015 grants and subsequent grants, recipients must apply this test consistent with paragraph (g)(1) of this section.
(h) Reimbursement for pre-award costs. The effective date of the grant agreement is the program year start date or the date that the consolidated plan is received by HUD, whichever is later. For a Section 108 loan guarantee, the effective date of the grant agreement is the date of HUD execution of the grant agreement amendment for the particular loan guarantee commitment.
(1) Prior to the effective date of the grant agreement, a recipient may incur costs or may authorize a subrecipient to incur costs, and then after the effective date of the grant agreement pay for those costs using its CDBG funds, provided that:
(i) The activity for which the costs are being incurred is included, prior to the costs being incurred, in a consolidated plan action plan, an amended consolidated plan action plan, or an application under subpart M of this part, except that a new entitlement grantee preparing to receive its first allocation of CDBG funds may incur costs necessary to develop its consolidated plan and undertake other administrative actions necessary to receive its first grant, prior to the costs being included in its consolidated plan;
(ii) Citizens are advised of the extent to which these pre-award costs will affect future grants;
(iii) The costs and activities funded are in compliance with the requirements of this part and with the Environmental Review Procedures stated in 24 CFR part 58;
(iv) The activity for which payment is being made complies with the statutory and regulatory provisions in effect at the time the costs are paid for with CDBG funds;
(v) CDBG payment will be made during a time no longer than the next two program years following the effective date of the grant agreement or amendment in which the activity is first included; and
(vi) The total amount of pre-award costs to be paid during any program year pursuant to this provision is no more than the greater of 25 percent of the amount of the grant made for that year or $300,000.
(2) Upon the written request of the recipient, HUD may authorize payment of pre-award costs for activities that do not meet the criteria at paragraph (h)(1)(v) or (h)(1)(vi) of this section, if HUD determines, in writing, that there is good cause for granting an exception upon consideration of the following factors, as applicable:
(i) Whether granting the authority would result in a significant contribution to the goals and purposes of the CDBG program;
(ii) Whether failure to grant the authority would result in undue hardship to the recipient or beneficiaries of the activity;
(iii) Whether granting the authority would not result in a violation of a statutory provision or any other regulatory provision;
(iv) Whether circumstances are clearly beyond the recipient's control; or
(v) Any other relevant considerations.
(i) Urban Development Action Grant. Grant assistance may be provided with Urban Development Action Grant funds, subject to the provisions of subpart G, for:
(1) Activities eligible for assistance under this subpart; and
(j) Equal participation of faith-based organizations. The HUD program requirements in § 5.109 of this title apply to the CDBG program, including the requirements regarding disposition and change in use of real property by a faith-based organization.
(k) Any unexpended CDBG origin year grant funds in the United States Treasury account on September 30 of the fifth Federal fiscal year after the end of the origin year grant's period of availability for obligation by HUD will be canceled. HUD may require an earlier expenditure and draw down deadline under a grant agreement.