24 CFR § 570.431 - Citizen participation.

(a) General. An applicant that is located in a nonentitlement area of a State that has not elected to distribute funds shall comply with the citizen participation requirements described in this section, including requirements for the preparation of the proposed application and the final application. The requirements for citizen participation do not restrict the responsibility or authority of the applicant for the development and execution of its community development program.

(b) Citizen participation plan. The applicant must develop and follow a detailed citizen participation plan and must make the plan public. The plan must be completed and available before the application for assistance is submitted to HUD, and the applicant must certify that it is following the plan. The plan must set forth the applicant's policies and procedures for:

(1) Giving citizens timely notice of local meetings and reasonable and timely access to local meetings, information, and records relating to the grantee's proposed and actual use of CDBG funds including, but not limited to:

(i) The amount of CDBG funds expected to be made available for the coming year, including the grant and anticipated program income;

(ii) The range of activities that may be undertaken with those funds;

(iii) The estimated amount of those funds proposed to be used for activities that will benefit low- and moderate-income persons;

(iv) The proposed CDBG activities likely to result in displacement and the applicant's plans, consistent with the policies developed under § 570.606(b), for minimizing displacement of persons as a result of its proposed activities; and

(v) The types and levels of assistance the applicant plans to make available (or to require others to make available) to persons displaced by CDBG-funded activities, even if the applicant expects no displacement to occur;

(2) Providing technical assistance to groups representative of persons of low- and moderate-income that request assistance in developing proposals. The level and type of assistance to be provided is at the discretion of the applicant. The assistance need not include the provision of funds to the groups;

(3) Holding a minimum of two public hearings, for the purpose of obtaining citizens' views and formulating or responding to proposals and questions. Each public hearing must be conducted at a different stage of the CDBG program. Together, the hearings must address community development and housing needs, development of proposed activities and review of program performance. There must be reasonable notice of the hearings and the hearings must be held at times and accessible locations convenient to potential or actual beneficiaries, with reasonable accommodations including material in accessible formats for persons with disabilities. The applicant must specify in its plan how it will meet the requirement for hearings at times and locations convenient to potential or actual beneficiaries;

(4) Meeting the needs of non-English speaking residents in the case of public hearings where a significant number of non-English speaking residents can reasonably be expected to participate;

(5) Responding to citizen complaints and grievances, including the procedures that citizens must follow when submitting complaints and grievances. The applicant's policies and procedures must provide for timely written answers to written complaints and grievances within 15 working days of the receipt of the complaint, where practicable; and

(6) Encouraging citizen participation, particularly by low- and moderate-income persons who reside in slum or blighted areas, and in other areas in which CDBG funds are proposed to be used.

(c) Publication of proposed application.

(1) The applicant shall publish a proposed application consisting of the proposed community development activities and community development objectives in order to afford affected citizens an opportunity to:

(i) Examine the application's contents to determine the degree to which they may be affected;

(ii) Submit comments on the proposed application; and

(iii) Submit comments on the performance of the applicant.

(2) The requirement for publishing in paragraph (c)(1) of this section may be met by publishing a summary of the proposed application in one or more newspapers of general circulation, and by making copies of the proposed application available at libraries, government offices, and public places. The summary must describe the contents and purpose of the proposed application, and must include a list of the locations where copies of the entire proposed application may be examined.

(d) Preparation of a final application. An applicant must prepare a final application. In the preparation of the final application, the applicant shall consider comments and views received related to the proposed application and may, if appropriate, modify the final application. The final application shall be made available to the public and shall include the community development objectives and projected use of funds, and the community development activities.

(e) New York grantee amendments. To assure citizen participation on program amendments to final applications that require HUD approval under § 570.427, the grantee shall:

(1) Furnish citizens information concerning the amendment;

(2) Hold one or more public hearings to obtain the views of citizens on the proposed amendment;

(3) Develop and publish the proposed amendment in such a manner as to afford affected citizens an opportunity to examine the contents, and to submit comments on the proposed amendment;

(4) Consider any comments and views expressed by citizens on the proposed amendment and, if the grantee finds it appropriate, modify the final amendment accordingly; and

(5) Make the final amendment to the community development program available to the public before its submission to HUD.