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									                                 COUNTY OF VENTURA

These guidelines are intended to provide a brief overview of the Community Development Block Grant
(CDBG) Program, project eligibility, proposal evaluation, and the proposal submittal process. For
complete information on the CDBG Program and its requirements go to:

Congress originally established the CDBG Program in 1974. The U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) administers the program. The Community Development Block Grant
(CDBG) Program is a complex program and includes a variety of requirements and information that
should be taken into consideration when applying for funding. The project proposal (funding
application) must comply with the County’s Entitlement Area CDBG Urban County Program as
authorized under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1994, as amended.

The primary objective of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as
amended, is the development of viable urban communities. These viable communities are achieved
by providing the following, principally for persons of low and moderate income: decent housing; a
suitable living environment; and expanded economic opportunities.

To achieve these goals, the CDBG regulations set forth eligible activities and the national objectives
that each activity must meet. As recipients of CDBG funds, grantees are charged with ensuring that
these requirements are met.

Each year, the Urban County Entitlement Area receives an allocation of funds. The amount of funds
received depends on the appropriations set aside each year by Congress in the Federal budget and
the number and demographics of the other participating jurisdictions throughout the country. The
County of Ventura’s Entitlement Area anticipates that CDBG funding for program year 2011-12 will be
approximately $2.1 million. Proposals for County CDBG Program funding must benefit residents of
one, some or all of the following Urban County Entitlement Area Communities: the cities of Fillmore,
Moorpark, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, and the unincorporated area of the County of Ventura.
(NOTE: Information and instructions on project eligibility for HOME and ESG funds are found in the Program
Year 2011-12 HOME and ESG Guidelines for Submitting a Proposal.)

CDBG Project Eligibility
To be considered for CDBG funds, a project must:
       1.    Meet one of three CDBG program national objectives below;
       2.    Be an eligible CDBG program activity as prescribed by HUD;
       3.    Be consistent with the County’s FY 2010 – FY 2012 Consolidated Plan; and
       4.    Receive National Environmental Protection Act clearance.

National Objectives
For a project to be considered for full or partial funding, the project is required to meet one of three
national objectives:
       1.     Benefit low and moderate income persons. (A minimum of 51% of the beneficiaries must
              have individual or household incomes which are considered low and moderate income);
       2.     Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight; or
       3.     Meet other community development needs having a particular urgency (as determined
              by HUD).

                                 CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 1 of 9
Meeting one of the three above factors is mandatory for a proposal to be eligible for CDBG funding. If
a proposed project does not clearly address at least one of these three factors, then it is not eligible
for further consideration.

The Entitlement Area must comply with federal regulations that mandate a minimum of 70% of the
funds received by the Entitlement Area over a three-year period, be used to fund activities that benefit
persons of low and moderate income. Therefore, the majority of funds are utilized for projects that
benefit low and moderate-income persons or households.

If you feel that your project may qualify under the “prevention or elimination of slums and blight” or
may “meet other community development needs having a particular urgency,” please contact County
staff. National experience indicates that very few projects have qualified under the last two
categories. The eligibility requirements are more extensive and difficult to meet.

Eligible and Ineligible Applicants
Eligible applicants for CDBG funding include public or private non-profit organizations and public
agencies. Eligible non-profits must have attained their 501(c) (3) status at the time the CDBG
application is submitted.

Individual persons are not eligible to apply for CDBG funding; however, individuals may be eligible for
assistance from programs that receive CDBG funds such as housing rehabilitation or rental
assistance programs.

CDBG Eligible Activities
In addition to meeting one of the national objectives, a project must also be an eligible CDBG activity.
General types of activities that are eligible fall into four broad categories:

   1. Code Enforcement and Rehabilitation Activities and Housing Development (non-construction);
   2. Construction or Improvement of Public Facilities and Infrastructure;
   3. Economic Development Activities (Job Creation and Retention); and
   4. Public Service.

Federal regulations restrict public service project funding to 15% of the total grant, limit the use of
funds, and require that any public service being funded for the first time must be a new program or a
measurable increase in the service level above that which was provided over the past 12 months. In
addition, record keeping requirements generally include extensive documentation on beneficiaries’
income, ethnicity, race and female head of household status.

Local Consolidated Plan Goals and Objectives
The County has established five priority goals, one each in the areas of housing, homelessness,
economic development, public services, and non-housing community development. These goals
express the County’s intentions related to assisting extremely low, low, and moderate-income
residents. The County has established 21 specific objectives, listed in Appendix A, to implement
these 5 goals, and discussed in the Ventura County Consolidated Plan FY 2010 – FY 2012.
Addressing 1 of the 15 specific objectives is mandatory for a proposal to be eligible for CDBG

                                CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 2 of 9
Performance Measurements/Outcomes
Performance measurements indicate what your project is intended to accomplish. They should be
specific, time-limited, and measurable. They are described in terms of households served, people
served, businesses created, jobs created or public facilities undertaken. Do not “over-promise” on
what your project can realistically deliver.

Outcomes are the hoped-for effect of activities. They should be realistic and realizable within the time-
frame of the grant. They are often evaluated on the basis of Client Satisfaction Surveys or pre-and

The table below provides examples for a public service activity. For every major activity of the project,
the service numbers for each activity and the direct outcome/benefit of the activity must be specified.

               ACTIVITY                     PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT                           OUTCOME
 (The specific activities to fulfill the       (The direct products/service          (The benefits that result from
 mission of the project.)                     numbers of project activities.)            the project activities.)

 Example:                                   Example:                                Example:
 Provide nutritious, home delivered         Deliver nutritious, “hot” meals to at   Improved access to nutritional,
 meals to homebound seniors in the          least 88 homebound seniors in the       well-balanced meals for
 Entitlement Area                           Entitlement Area                        program participants.
                                                                                    Improved quality of life for
                                                                                    program participants
 Example:                                   Example:                                Example:
 Pediatric health care for “sick,”          Provide pediatric health care to at     Improved access to healthcare
 low/moderate income children in the        least 97 “sick,” low/moderate income    for program participants.
 Entitlement Area without any form of       children in the Entitlement Area        Improved quality of life for
 health coverage                            without any form of health coverage     program participants.

NEPA Clearance
All projects proposed for CDBG funding must receive National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA)
clearance. NEPA is federal environmental protection legislation that is similar to, yet often more
restrictive than, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Applicants should be aware that no
HUD money may be used to fund projects that cannot receive NEPA clearance. This is an extremely
important requirement that is often overlooked or misunderstood.

CDBG projects that have Board of Supervisors’ final approval cannot be funded until certain federal
environmental and contract compliance conditions have been met. The required National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review must be completed within three months of the
fiscal year start date (by October 1st). If the environmental review is not completed within the
specified timeframe, the CDBG funding will be reprogrammed for use on a contingency project unless
County staff determines that the project is in substantial compliance with the specified timeline and
there is a reasonable expectation that the review will be completed within an additional 30 days.

All projects that comprise a component of a larger project, such as site acquisition or
predevelopment/design costs for a housing development or a public facility project, shall complete
the environmental review process required for the completed larger project. As applicable, the
project also must receive local environmental clearance in accordance with the requirements of the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Environmental clearance work for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) defined categorically
excluded with no ground-disturbing activities and exempt projects as required by NEPA may be
performed by County staff. Environmental Assessments (EA) are the responsibility of the applicant
and must be completed by a qualified contractor. Prior to submitting a funding application, contact

                                      CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 3 of 9
should be made with County staff in order to determine the level of environmental review that will be
required. Projects requiring an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or detailed Environmental
Assessment (EA) are typically not considered for funding by the County Entitlement Area program.

The County will be responsible for the publication of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and
the Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and the County will bear the costs for publication of both.

Compliance with Federal Procurement and Labor Standards
Those projects that involve construction and/or rehabilitation must comply with federal procurement
procedures and with federal labor standards including Davis-Bacon and Related Acts governing
prevailing wage and other labor standards requirements. County staff will monitor the subrecipient’s
compliance with the applicable federal labor standards. As required by HUD, the County will withhold
allocated funding from projects that do not maintain compliance with all applicable labor standards

Other Federal Requirements
The CDBG Program requires participants to abide by regulations regarding accounting and auditing
practices, equal opportunity and fair housing, affirmative marketing, displacement, relocation and
acquisition, labor standards, Minority/Women's Business Enterprises, the Economic Opportunities for
Low- and Very Low-Income Persons “Section 3” Plan (when applicable) accessibility and other
property standards, lead hazard reduction, conflict of interest, debarment and suspension, flood
insurance, and the Fire Administration Authorization Act of 1992. As required by Federal regulation,
the County will require participants to provide documentation of compliance with these requirements.

Evaluation Criteria
In addition to the above-mentioned requirements, at a minimum, all projects will be evaluated against
the CDBG Project Review Checklist (Appendix B).

Application Submittal Process
The schedule for the funding process is included at the end of this section.

All proposals are to be submitted to County Executive Office (CEO) in Ventura.

County staff will review all proposals for eligibility and consistency with the national CDBG objectives
and the strategies and goals of the adopted Consolidated Plan. A list of all proposals will be compiled
and the “CDBG Project Review Checklist” will be completed up to the “Score Project” section for each

Each cooperating city will receive copies of the proposals and “CDBG Project Review Checklists”
identifying their city as a benefit area and requesting CDBG funding for that area.

All proposals are reviewed using the “CDBG Project Review Checklist” to ensure funding
recommendations are justified and meet highest priority needs. (County reviews ALL proposals.)

Cities provide prioritized lists of public service/non-public service proposals to the County for
tabulation of ranking and preliminary funding recommendations for all proposals. County forwards this
tabulation of all proposals to Cities.

County and City Staff meet to evaluate proposals based upon project review checklists considering
factors such as applicant capacity, program effectiveness, satisfying a high-priority need and past
program performance. Funding recommendation tables are finalized based on this meeting.

The County will notify applicants of funding recommendations and post them on the CEO website.

                                CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 4 of 9
Applicants will be notified of and are required to attend a mandatory public hearing for review of
funding recommendations for all projects with CDBG, HOME, ESG funds.

Staff will receive feedback from applicants and the public regarding funding recommendations.
Modifications to funding recommendations will be made as appropriate to address significant
concerns about final funding recommendations.

IF NEEDED, an additional MANDATORY Public Hearing for applicants will be held to review any
modifications made to funding recommendations.

In May, the final Public Hearing to present annual funding recommendations will be held at the Board
of Supervisors for their approval prior to submission to HUD.

             To download the application and for additional information go to:


                     On the right, under “Quick Links,” select “HUD Programs.”
                On the right, under “Community Development,” select “HUD Grants.”

                          For applications and guidance documents, click on:
               “Click for CDBG, Home, or ESG application forms and other information
                               on the FY 2011-2012 application process”

In submitting your application for program year 2011-12 funding, please be aware of the following:

 ♦   Applications are due no later than 12 NOON, on Friday, December 17, 2010.
 ♦   A separate application form must be completed for each project proposed.
 ♦   Complete the application form thoroughly. If the application is incomplete, the project may not
     be considered for funding.
 ♦   One original application and three copies must be submitted. Only one set of Attachment Copies
     (By-Laws, Plans, etc.) is required and should be included with the original application.
 ♦   A hard copy with original signature, is required for submittal. A faxed application form will not be
 ♦   A handwritten application will not be accepted.
 ♦   Do not alter or delete any portion of the application form. “Tailor made” applications attached to
     a blank application form will not be accepted.

                                CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 5 of 9
Contact Information - If you have any questions regarding the application process, contact the
appropriate staff person as indicated on the next page.

                   County of Ventura – CDBG and ESG
                   Attn: Meg Kimbell-Drewry, Management Analyst II
                   Phone: 805-654-2871
                   County of Ventura – HOME
                   Attn: Donna Plummer, Management Analyst II
                   Phone: 805-654-2876

                   Application Delivery Address:
                   County of Ventura – Hall of Administration
                   County Executive Office
                   800 South Victoria Avenue, L#1940
                   Ventura, CA 93009


 MONTH      DATE     RESPONSIBLE                                 ACTION
                    County/Cities    1st HUD Funding Public Hearing and CDBG Proposal
November      4     Staff and        Training Workshop (Lower Plaza Assembly Room, 1:00 – 4:00
                    Applicants       p.m.)
                                     All Proposals due to County for eligibility determination by
December      17    Applicants
                                     12:00, noon.

  March       4     County           Notify applicants of funding recommendations.

                    County/Cities    2nd HUD Funding Public Hearing – Funding recommendations
              9     Staff and        for all projects with CDBG, HOME, and ESG funds (Board of
                    Applicants       Supervisors Hearing Room - 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.) MANDATORY
                    County/Cities    Additional HUD Funding Public Hearing – IF NEEDED, due to
              23    Staff and        revision of funding recommendations after March 9 Hearing (Bd of
                    Applicants       Supervisors Hearing Room - 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.) MANDATORY
                                     Final HUD Funding Public Hearing for Annual Plan at Board
   May        3     County
                                     of Supervisors
                                     Contracts to funded applicants requesting signature, insurance,
  June –
                    County           and final environmental clearance, if applicable. When receive HUD
                                     grant agreement, “OK to Spend” letters sent as appropriate.

                             CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 6 of 9
                                                Appendix A
                                        Priority: Affordable Housing

  H-1: Increase availability of affordable ownership housing
  H-2: Improve the quality of ownership housing through rehabilitation
  H-3: Improve the quality of ownership housing through code enforcement
  H-4: Increase availability of affordable rental housing
  H-5: Improve the quality of affordable rental housing through rehabilitation
  H-6: Increase housing options for persons with special needs
  H-7: Improve the quality of public housing or public-agency owned housing through rehabilitation

    Priority: Improve or construct public facilities that support low-mod income residents

 I-1: Parks and Recreation Facilities
 I-2: Public Facilities
 I-3: Improve or construct infrastructures in low-mod income areas

    Priority: Enhance economic development by creating or retaining jobs to be filled by or
                     made available to low and moderate-income persons
 ED-1: Commercial-Industrial Rehabilitation and Infrastructure Improvements
 ED-2: Employment Training

              Priority: Assist homeless or at-risk persons with housing and services

HO-1: Winter Warming Shelters
HO-2: Emergency Shelters
HO-3: Food Pantries
HO-4: Homeless Services
HO-5: Rent/Deposit Assistance
HO-6: Transitional Shelters

                          Priority: Other Services for Low-Income persons

CD-1: Provide other supportive services to low-mod income persons
CD-2: Provide services to youths from low-mod income families
CD-3: Provide services to area seniors

  Note: Goals are not in order of priority. For prioritization of goals, refer to pages 86-95 of the
  Consolidated Plan.

                                   CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 7 of 9
                                                  Appendix B

CDBG Project Review Checklist FY 2011-12                   Maximum Possible Score = 100
Name of Project:
Submitting Agency:
New or Existing Project
                                                       Funds Requested: $
(previously CDBG funded):
Service Area: (check all that apply) Fillmore __ Moorpark __ Ojai __ Port Hueneme __
Santa Paula __ Unincorporated Area __ Other Cities in the County (list) ________________________________

National Objective: (check one)            LMC                LMA                LMH                  LMJ

Con Plan Goal (one only): Affordable Housing ____   Public Facilities ____  Infrastructure ____
Homeless Services ____    Economic Development ____ Public Service: Youth ____ Senior ____ Other ___

             Magnitude of benefit to persons of low-mod income in the Entitlement Area
Total Number of Persons                               Total Number of Low/Mod Persons
or Households Benefiting                              or Households Benefiting

Criteria for Scoring Project                                                             Score
NEED: Overall impact in addressing priority needs of the FY 2010 – FY 2012 Consolidated Plan.

Activities addressing a high, medium or low priority as identified in the Consolidated Plan will be
awarded points as follows: (5 Points = High, 3 Points = Medium, 0 Points = Low)                               Out of
Activities with excellent documentation of the Consolidated Plan community need addressed by the
proposed project will be awarded points as follows: (Good – 10 pts, Average – 5 pts, and Poor – 0 pts)
BENEFIT/PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENTS/OUTCOMES: At least 51 percent of the beneficiaries
for a project or activity must have incomes that are 80 percent or less of the adjusted area median
household income (AMI).
                                                                                                              Out of
The higher the percentage of low-mod income beneficiaries served, the higher the score, as follows:            15
(5 Points = High, 3 Points = Medium, 0 Points = Low)
Additionally, higher points will be awarded based on the demonstrated ability to evaluate outcomes.
(10 Points = High, 5 Points = Medium, 0 Points = Low)
COST: Reasonableness of costs compared to number of clients to be served.

The project will be evaluated on a sliding scale in terms of the amount of CDBG funding requested             Out of
compared to the number of Entitlement Area low-mod beneficiaries to be served. The project type will           10
also be taken into consideration.
TIMELINESS/PROJECT READINESS: (Project Readiness, Site Control, NEPA clearance)

Points will be awarded based on documentation in the application showing that the resources,
(including funding, staffing, site control, etc.), needed to implement the proposed project or activity are
both available and sustainable.                                                                               Out of
Maximum points will be given to activities that are ready to move forward quickly and are not
dependent upon future approvals, obtaining additional funding, or discretionary actions by outside
parties. The demonstrated commitment for operation and maintenance (where applicable) is also

                                    CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 8 of 9
MANAGEMENT AND PAST EXPERIENCE: Experience and capacity for administering HUD funds.

Applicant experience includes the length of time in business; experience in undertaking projects of
similar complexity; and experience in administering HUD grant awards. (10 points)
                                                                                                            Out of
Applicant’s past performance will be evaluated in terms of meeting prior year objectives and adherence       20
to the scope of services defined in their contract; timeliness of grant expenditures, quarterly reporting
and annual close-out submittals; and timeliness in addressing outstanding monitoring or audit findings.
(10 points)

BUDGET/LEVERAGING: Total other funding identified and secured.

Documented commitment of additional funding and in-kind costs for the proposed project. The smaller         Out of
the percentage of CDBG funds requested relative to overall cost, the higher the score.                       10

COLLABORATION: Non-Duplication of Effort / Linkages with Other Non-Profit/County programs. The
applicant shall demonstrate how it will coordinate services with other community agencies addressing
the same or similar problem in order to leverage available resources.
                                                                                                            Out of
High scoring projects will be those that demonstrate that they are integrated into the larger community
plan for the need in the geographic area to be served.

APPLICATION: Clarity and completeness of application.
                                                                                                            Out of
Points will be awarded on a sliding scale depending on how well the applicant followed instructions,
provided clear answers, and if they completed the budget correctly.

                                                                                                            Out of
                                                                                         TOTAL SCORE

                                   CDBG Submittal Process -- Page 9 of 9

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