Place-Based Community Development Block Grant Allocation Strategy for the City and County of Sacramento, California
The Cloudburst Group introduced market-based, place-based comprehensive community development plans to improve Sacramento’s strategic utilization of HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
The City and County had historically implemented a pro-rata method of CDBG funds distribution across all Region Council Districts; the Cloudburst Group assisted the Sacramento Housing Redevelopment Authority (SHRA) in identifying priority investment neighborhoods using a strategic market- and data-based approach. This approach helped SHRA focus diminished resources on geographic target areas where they might provide maximum impact, benefit, and leverage independent of the political district as Sacramento City and County collaborated through SHRA to implement a regional Consolidated Plan. The Cloudburst Group supported SHRA’s Consolidated Planning process by: demonstrating the use of HUD eCon Planning Suite tools and other new data sets; advising staff on possible missing or additional data; enhancing the soundness of their approach regarding geographic targeting, program outcomes, administration of program activities, and; designing action steps for implementation of a data-based methodology. This approach was then analyzed by the Cloudburst Group’s sub-contractor, The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), for its potential economic impacts. Work done by TRF included a review of the literature for examples of spatial clustering of investment and the presentation of projected economic impacts to result from the proposed CDBG allocation method.
This engagement demonstrated the positive economic impacts and strategic advantages of a place-based regional CDBG allocation method not only to SHRA staff, but to Councilors and Commissioners, who also adopted the new methodology. This new method built the region’s capacity to: effectively assess current conditions in the affordable segment of their local housing and commercial real estate markets, identify key business and employment trends, and design and implement more strategic community development investments in the future.