Community Services Block Grant

What is the aim of the Community Services Block Grant?

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.

Who is Eligible to Apply for the Community Services Block Grant?

The Secretary is authorized to make grants to States. 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.

How to Apply for the Community Services Block Grant?

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.

How much is the Community Services Block Grant?

$1,019 to $55,942,793; average $5,242,585.

Where to Apply for Community Services Block Grant?

Headquarters Office
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, District of Columbia 20447
Phone: (202) 401-2333
Email: POC@DHS.GOV
Web Site Address: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs

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