Grant program offers $600,000 for Utah housing, infrastructure, other public needs
Every year Utah’s Department of Workforce Services hands out federal money to local governments, nonprofits and special service districts.
It’s called the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG.
The federal government gives it to the states, which administer it locally. This year, Summit and Wasatch counties are expected to receive around $600,000.
Counties with a population of less than 200,000 and cities with fewer than 50,000 can apply for a chunk of that money.
So can nonprofits and special service districts, which could include recreation districts, fire departments and utility providers. The city or county has to sign off on the applications.
The Utah DWS prioritizes applications that will help provide housing, expand economic opportunities and assist low-income residents.
Summit County assistant manager Annette Singleton has been helping write these applications for 12 years.
“Summit County has in the past helped obtain these monies for our senior center in Kamas; we've gotten an ADA senior bus, sewer project for Echo residents, and water improvements and line upgrades in Echo, High Valley, Hoytsville and Peoa,” she told the Summit County Council Nov. 29.
She knows of at least one Summit County organization, the Wanship Water Company, that intends to apply this year for system improvements.
Cheryl Brown, who formerly managed the CDBG program at the state level, says water, sewer and infrastructure projects are the most popular. But the grants can fund everything from fire stations to property acquisition too.
Mountainlands Community Housing Trust advocate Megan McKenna says the money could be rental assistance.
“We have people coming into our office every day seeking assistance, and I think that would be a great use of CDBG funds,” she said.
One thing this grant can’t be used for is child care. There’s a separate block grant for that.
The child care block grant is funded despite being one of numerous programs at risk whenever a government shutdown happens.
Organizations must apply for the Community Development Block Grant by Jan. 15, 2024.