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. In addition to the CSBG block grants to states, the Office of Community Services funds additional discretionary projects for technical assistance including: Center of Excellence (COE) for Human Capacity and Community Transformation (HCCT); 11 Regional Performance and Innovation Consortia (RPIC), a Learning Communities Resource Center, and a Legal Training and Technical Assistance Center.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Administration For Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
A - Formula Grants; B - Project Grants; M - Training
Fiscal Year 2016
It is anticipated that 130 grants will be awarded in FY 2016. 114 grants issued in FY 2016.Fiscal Year 2017
114 grants awarded in FY 2017.Fiscal Year 2018
129 grants awarded in FY 2018.Fiscal Year 2019
It is anticipated that 130 grants will be awarded in FY 2019.Fiscal Year 2020
The number of grants that will be awarded in FY 2020 is to be determined.
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Title VI, Public Law 97-35, 42 U.S.C. 9901-9920
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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. In order for a private nonprofit or public organization to be considered an eligible entity, they must administer the community services block grant program through a tripartite board as described in 42 USC 9910 that fully participates in the development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of the program to serve low-income communities. Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards. For the discretionary technical assistance and training grants: Eligible entities include CSBG eligible entities, or statewide or local organizations or associations, with demonstrated expertise in providing training to individuals and organizations on methods of effectively addressing the needs of low-income families and communities. Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible. Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards.
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.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. States are also required to conduct public hearings on the proposed use and distribution of funds to be provided under the Act.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 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)). 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 State Director of CSBG Programs 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. For discretionary grants: Applicants may find funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) on https://www.grants.gov or on the ACF website at https://ami.grantsolutions.gov/. Applicants may apply on https://grants.gov.
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. For discretionary grants: Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets any of the disqualifying factors: missing the application deadline, required electronic submission or waiver requested and approved, or exceeding the Award Ceiling. Disqualified applications are considered to be "non-responsive" and are excluded from the competitive review process. Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using only the criteria described in FOA. Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include three reviewers and one chairperson. Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding. Scores and rankings are only one element used in the award decision-making process. ACF may elect not to fund applicants with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project. ACF reserves the right to consider preferences to fund organizations serving emerging, unserved, or under-served populations, including those populations located in pockets of poverty. ACF will also consider the geographic distribution of federal funds in its award decisions. ACF will complete a review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR 75.205.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
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. States may terminate or reduce funding to a eligible entity, but this may be done only after adequate notice and an opportunity for a hearing is conducted within the affected State. For discretionary grants: There is no appeal process for unsuccessful applicants. For existing recipients, appeals in regards to disputes may take place in accordance with 45 CFR Part 16, subject to the limitations of the Appendix A.
How are proposals selected?
For discretionary grants: The criteria for selecting proposals will be published in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
How may assistance be used?
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. 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. 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. Funds may not be used for the purchase or improvement of land, or the purchase, construction, or permanent improvement (other than low-cost residential weatherization or other energy-related home repairs) of any building or other facility unless a waiver is approved by the Office of Community Services.
For discretionary grants for T/TA: funds may be used in accordance with the objectives outlined in each funding opportunity announcement and the terms and conditions of the award.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
For discretionary grants, Performance progress reports are required using the SF-PPR ACF Performance Progress Report. The frequency of reporting will be listed in the funding opportunity announcement and in the award terms and conditions. For more information, see: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-2.
45 CFR Part 75 Subpart F applies to this program.
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. For discretionary grants, all financial records are to be maintained in accordance with 45 CFR 75.361-365.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Public Law 97-35 42 USC 9906, 9911
Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
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. For CSBG Block Grants, funding is awarded each fiscal year. For discretionary grants: Post award, our Division of Payment Management will establish an account from which a grantee may draw down funds.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
330 C Street, S.W., 5th Floor West
Mail Stop 5425
Washington, DC 20201 US
(Formula Grants) FY 18$703,856,755.00; FY 19 est $706,554,837.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$696,825,612.00; FY 16$703,729,255.00; - (Training) FY 18$6,593,109.00; FY 19 est $6,711,754.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$1,536,812.00; FY 16$1,105,612.00; - (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 18$900,000.00; FY 19 est $900,000.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$6,228,626.00; FY 16$6,700,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$1,019 to $55,942,793; average $5,242,585
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
45 CFR 16, 45 CFR 75 and 45 CFR 96, Subparts D and I.
Examples of Funded Projects