Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME
The City of Cedar Falls receives an annual allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The three basic goals of the program are to: provide decent housing, provide a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities. This is achieved through several activities the funds currently support in Cedar Falls:
- Housing Rehabilitation Projects
- Repair projects
- Rental Rehabilitation Projects
- Service agencies
- FFY 2023 Annual Action Plan
Additional information & program-related materials are available by clicking on a program above or contacting the City's Planning & Community Services Division at (319) 273-8600.
All programs and projects are completed in compliance with HUD regulations, which include a 5-Year Consolidated Action Plan and an Annual Action Plan. A draft Annual Action Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2021 is now available for review by clicking here.
This program is to aid in the costs of helping a property meet Cedar Falls Building Code and the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Housing Quality Standards. The City of Cedar Falls’ Manual for Housing Rehabilitation Programs guides project eligibility and scope determinations. The program is available city-wide to income qualifying residents for projects up to $20,000. Income limits are published annually by HUD, generally being 80% of the area median income. Typically, the resident must have owned the property for at least 12 months prior to being eligible. Approximately 3–6 projects are funded per year, on a first-come, first-serve basis when all requirements are met. Applications may be submitted at any time and will be evaluated under program requirements. The homeowner may receive one Housing Rehabilitation grant.
All projects are guided by the City of Cedar Falls Standard Specifications for Housing Rehabilitations adopted in September 2015 and the current building code.
The Repair Grant Program helps families in need of "immediate" repairs on their homes. These repairs include items that would be a hazard to the occupants' health and safety. Items in dire need of repair often include the correction of inadequate electrical wiring, furnace or roof repair, plumbing replacement, etc. Repairs which exceed local codes are not normally eligible for funding. The program is available city-wide to income qualifying residents for projects up to $10,000. The number of projects funded varies each per year, with funds administered on a first-come, first-serve basis when all requirements are met. Applications may be submitted at any time. Income limits are published annually by HUD, generally being 80% of the area median income. Typically, the resident must have owned the property for at least 12 months prior to being eligible. The program follows the Cedar Falls Manual for Housing Rehabilitation Programs. The homeowner may not receive more than two (2) Repair Grants.
The program allows for rental property owners to receive a zero-interest forgivable loan to improve their rental property, provided the unit is or will be rented to a person or family who receives rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program. The rehabilitation work must involve improvements that will make the unit more livable, safe, and sanitary. Examples of items eligible for replacement or repairs include roofing, electrical services, furnaces, windows, doors, and insulation. The property must be located within the Cedar Falls City Limits. The program guidelines are found here.
Additional information & program-related materials are available by contacting the City's Planning & Community Services Division at (319) 273-8600.
Each year, the City awards grants to several agencies that provide eligible services to low-to-moderate income residents of the City. Services may include, healthcare, housing education, credit counseling, substance abuse treatment, homelessness services, and emergency food assistance. To avoid any duplication of benefits, proposed services must not currently be financially supported using other CDBG funding, including Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act CDBG funding.
This year awards were given to:
- Exceptional Persons
- Family Management Financial Solutions
- House of Hope
- Northeast Iowa Food Bank
- Salvation Army
To be added to the mailing list to get notice of the grant application and deadline, please email email@example.com.
The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides federal grants to states and localities to fund activities such as building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. It is designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.
In 1998, the City of Cedar Falls and the City of Waterloo entered into its first HOME Investment Partnership Program Consortium Cooperation Agreement. This agreement has been extended every three-years since then. It allows Cedar Falls and Waterloo to exist as a “cooperative consortium” to receive additional funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for which we would otherwise be ineligible to receive.
Currently, Cedar Falls programs approximately $95,000 per year for housing rehabilitation activities. The program has very specific criteria on qualifying projects and documents that must be recorded with the property to maintain eligibility. To date, 21 infill residential lots have been purchased in Cedar Falls through the HOME Program. Twenty-two homes, which include two townhomes, have been constructed on those lots by Habitat for Humanity. Because infill lots are now scarce, the City has been utilizing funds toward rehabilitation grants for low to moderate income households similar to our CDBG program over the past six years.
The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act included funding for the federal program HOME Investment Partnerships American Rescue Plan Program (HOME-ARP). Through this, Cedar Falls may receive $423,829 in additional HOME funding, pending application submittal by March 31, 2023. For information on the local process to make application to utilize these funds, see the following links:
- City of Waterloo press release
- Annual Action Plan
- Cedar Falls City Council meeting considering HOME funds (meeting date: 2/20/23)
A summary of the proposed expenditures under the FFY 2023 Annual Action Plan program includes:
- Owner Occupied Housing Unit Rehabilitation serving Low-Moderate Income households
- Rental Housing Unit Rehabilitation serving Low-Moderate Income households
- Support of Outside Agencies and Services, assisting with the prevention of homelessness for Low-and-Moderate Income Limited Clientele
- Sanitary Sewer Lining (Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvements) in Low-and-Moderate Income Areas
- Staff Planning and Administration responsibilities tied the grant and programs
Written comments may be submitted to the Community Development Department any time during the 30-day comment period of June 10, 2023 through July 17, 2023. Comments or questions may be directed to Michelle Pezley, Community Development Department, 220 Clay Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50613, or at (319) 273-8600.