Community Services Block Grant

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

To provide assistance to States and local communities, working through a network of community action agencies and other neighborhood-based organizations, for the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income families and individuals in rural and urban areas to become fully self-sufficient (particularly families who are attempting to transition off a State program carried out under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act) and (1) To provide services and activities having a measurable and potential major impact on causes of poverty in the community or those areas of the community where poverty is a particularly acute problem; (2) to provide activities designed to assist low-income participants, including the elderly poor, to: (a) secure and retain meaningful employment; (b) attain an adequate education; (c) make better use of available income; (d) obtain and maintain adequate housing and a suitable living environment; (e) obtain emergency assistance through loans or grants to meet immediate and urgent individual and family needs, including health services, nutritious food, housing, and employment-related assistance; (f) remove obstacles and solve problems which block the achievement of self-sufficiency; (g) achieve greater participation in the affairs of the community; and (h) make more effective use of other related programs; (3) to provide on an emergency basis for the provision of such supplies and services, nutritious foodstuffs, and related services, as may be necessary to counteract conditions of starvation and malnutrition among the poor; and (4) to coordinate and establish linkages between governmental and other social services programs to assure the effective delivery of such services to low-income individuals.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

(1) States receive block grants to ameliorate the causes of poverty in communities. The block grant approach gives the States flexibility to tailor their programs to the particular services needs in their communities. (2) States are required to use at least 90 percent of their allocations for grants to "eligible entities" as defined in the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act, as amended; this includes primarily locally-based community action agencies and/or organizations that serve seasonal or migrant farm workers. (2) No more than the greater of $55,000 or 5 percent of each State's allocation may be used for administrative expenses at the State level.

Who is eligible to apply...

The Secretary is authorized to make grants to States. This includes each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Secretary also provides assistance directly to the governing body of an Indian Tribe or Tribal organization upon application by the tribe. Only State-recognized tribes, as evidenced by a statement to that effect by the Governor, or tribes formally recognized by the Secretary of the Interior, under the procedure for such recognition in 25 CFR 54, are eligible to receive direct grants.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

None.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Each State desiring to receive an allotment for a fiscal year is required to submit an application to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Each application must contain assurances by the appropriate State designee that the State will comply with Section 676 of the Community Services Block Grant Act and also meet conditions enumerated in Sections 678(B-D). The State is required to hold at least one legislative hearing every three years in conjunction with the development of the State Plan (Section 676(a)(3). States are also required to conducts public hearings on the proposed use and distribution of funds to be provided under the Act. The latter sets forth the general purpose for which funds will be used, restrictions on administrative expenses, eligible recipients, board requirements for community action agencies and other nonprofit organizations, fiscal control, monitoring, and Federal investigation provisions, coordination between antipoverty programs in each community and certain prohibitions on political activities. The Chief Executive Officer of each State is also required to designate a lead agency to prepare and submit a plan to the Secretary of HHS describing how the State will carry out the assurances in Section 676. This program is excluded from coverage under 45 CFR, Part 1050.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

HHS determines the amount of funds to be allocated as block grants to each State in accordance with the formula set forth in the Community Services Block Grant Act. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has the authority to apportion to the HHS through the course of a year the Congressional appropriation for block grants. Consistent with OMB's apportionment of funds, HHS will assign allotments to the States through individual awards or a series of awards, normally on a quarterly basis.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

The application deadline for States and Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations is September 1 of each fiscal year.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

Funds may be withheld from any State which does not utilize its allotment substantially in accordance with the provisions of the Community Services Block Grant Act and the assurances provided in its application. This may be done only after adequate notice and an opportunity for a hearing is conducted within the affected State.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

States make grants to qualified locally-based nonprofit community antipoverty agencies and other eligible entities which provide services to low-income individuals and families. The official poverty line, as established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, is used as a criterion of eligibility in the Community Services Block Grant program. When a State determines that it serves the objectives of the block grant, it may revise the income limit, not to exceed 125 percent of the official poverty line.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Formula Grants

Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$3,342,244 to $51,751,673; $2,545,128.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

Grants and Contracts) FY 03 $645,687,000; FY 04 $641,935,105; and FY 05 est $494,946,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

75-1504-0-1-506.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Grants awarded in fiscal year 2003 included 222 grants to States and Territories and Indian tribes. It is anticipated that 288 grants will be awarded in fiscal years 2004 and 166 grants in fiscal year 2005.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Entitlement amounts are for a specific fiscal year and the grant funds allotted to the State will be awarded in accordance with apportionment of funds from the Office of Management and Budget. Amounts unobligated by the State at the end of a fiscal year remain available for obligation during the succeeding fiscal year.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35 as amended by the Human Services Amendments of 1998, Public Law 105-285, Section 674 authorizes the Secretary to use one and one-half of one percent of the amount appropriated to be reserved for corrective action, training, technical assistance, planning, evaluation, and data collection activities related to programs or projects carried out under this subtitle. Such activities may be carried out through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements with eligible entities or with organizations or associations whose membership is composed of eligible entities or agencies that administer programs for eligible entities. One-half of one percent of the amount appropriated is apportioned on the basis of need among Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Northern and Mariana Islands. Of the remaining amount each State, (excluding the above, but including the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) is allotted an amount which bears the same ratio as the amount received by the State for fiscal year 1981 under Section 221 of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 bore to the total amount received by all States for fiscal year 1981 under Section 221. However, if the appropriation exceeds $345,000,000 after the amount necessary for purposes of discretionary funding under 680 and the one-half of one percent set aside for territories and insular areas under section 675(A) are determined, no State receives less than one-half of one percent of the amount appropriated. This program has no matching requirements.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

States must prepare and submit to the Secretary an Annual Report on the measured performance of the State and the eligible entities in the State. Reports shall include an accounting of the expenditure of funds received under the CSBG Program, including administrative costs incurred by the State and eligible entities and funds spent on direct delivery of local services, information on the number of and characteristics of clients served and a summary description of the training and technical assistance offered by the State. The Annual Report is due on March 31 each year. States are required to submit annual financial status reports, SF-269A's, 90 days after the end the fiscal year, i.e., December 30, each year.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised June 27, 2003)," Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations," Non-Federal entities that expend $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions of this part. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in section .215(a), but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and General Accounting Office (GAO).

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

States are required to keep records sufficient to permit preparation of the required reports and to permit tracing of funds to a level of expenditure adequate to insure that funds have not been spent unlawfully.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Community Opportunities, Accountability, Training, and Educational Services Act of 1998, Title II, Section 201 and Sections 671-thru 679; Public Laws 97-35, 103-252, Public Laws 106-554 and 98-502.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

45 CFR 16, 45 CFR 74 and 45 CFR 96.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Margaret Washnitzer, Director, Division of State Assistance, Office of Community Services, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447. mwashnitzer@acf.hhs.gov, telephone: (202) 401-9343.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: