Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) - Specialty Grants

The Washington State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program sets aside limited funds for the following specialty grants to assist specific types of projects: Economic Opportunity, Housing Enhancement, and Public Services.

The state CDBG program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Who can apply

  • Eligible applicants are rural Washington State cities, towns with populations less than 50,000, or counties with populations less than 200,000 that are not participants in a HUD Urban County Entitlement Consortium.
  • Non-profit organizations, Indian tribes, and special purpose organizations such as public housing authorities, port districts, community action agencies, and economic development councils, are not eligible to apply directly to the CDBG Program for funding, but may be partners in projects and subrecipients of funding through eligible jurisdictions.

Economic Opportunity Grants

CDBG Economic Opportunity Grants assist eligible, rural Washington State cities and counties with economic resilience and developments projects including job creation, microenterprise assistance, energy-related, and disaster recovery activities that promote vibrant communities and principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

Economic Opportunity (EO) Grant Funds have been exhausted at this time.

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, in April 2020, 17 rural county governments received Economic Opportunity Grant funding for economic, housing, and public health services. A total of $1.8 million was distributed by amending Economic Opportunity Grants onto existing CDBG Public Services Grant contracts to quickly fund COVID-19 response services in rural areas in Washington State.

For local governments and service providers seeking additional CDBG COVID-19 funds or guidance for local assistance programs, program implementation guidance is available on the CDBG-CV web page here.

For more information contact Kaaren Roe at 360-725-3018 or

Housing Enhancement Grants

CDBG Housing Enhancement Grants are awarded to eligible rural Washington State cities and counties as supplemental project financing for necessary off-site infrastructure and related facility costs to improve the affordability of new Housing Trust Fund (HTF) housing projects in their communities.

Funds Available

Approximately $200,000 is available in 2020, with potential of additional hardship funding.

Eligibility Guidelines

CDBG Housing Enhancement Grants are available for project costs not eligible for HTF financing, but essential to the project’s overall success. Eligible costs could include off-site infrastructure costs or non-housing facility costs integral to a comprehensive housing project.

CDBG Housing Enhancement Grants cannot be used for new housing construction, equipment, furnishings, personal property, or luxury items.

Projects must principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

Application Process

1. The initial CDBG Housing Enhancement Grant request forms are submitted within a project’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF) stage two application with the CDBG Housing Enhancement Grant request also included in the project’s HTF application budget.

2. HTF staff review the application to determine HTF eligibility and ranking for funding. CDBG staff review the application to determine CDBG eligibility and financial need for grant funding.

3. If the project is awarded HTF funds and meets the CDBG eligibility criteria, the local government is notified of the potential CDBG award and then must submit the remaining CDBG application materials, which includes public hearing documentation, community demographics, floodplain review, and various certifications of compliance.

4. Once all CDBG application parts are submitted and CDBG eligibility is confirmed, a Housing Enhancement Grant is awarded to the local government. The local government establishes a subrecipient agreement with the HTF applicant and coordinates project funding.

For more information contact Genny Matteson at 360-725-3093 or

Public Services Grants

CDBG Public Services Grants are available to up to 17 non-entitlement counties throughout Washington State to support partnerships with regional Community Action Programs. Public Services Grants fund: new services, expansion of existing services, implementation of innovative service delivery, and targeting new clients. These grants address the root causes of poverty, and help poor families and individuals regain or retain self-sufficiency.

Application Information

Annual award amounts are allocated by a formula based on service area population, poverty rate, and the amount available from the state’s annual award from HUD.

The 2020 CDBG Public Services Grant amounts are available for downloading.

Counties and service providers submit an online CDBG application through ZoomGrants (see below), describing the proposed services and benefit to low- and moderate-income persons.

The 2020 CDBG Public Services ZoomGrant application is now available, with applications closed
April 8, 2020.

The application auto-saves your entries whenever you change fields. This means you can log off and come back anytime to resume your work, refine responses, edit copy and upload or replace previously uploaded documents, even after the application has been submitted, until the application deadline and closure promptly at 5:00 p.m. April 8, 2020.  After that deadline date you will still be able to view your application but no changes will be allowed.

Important Tip: It is highly advisable not to wait until the last minute of the last day to submit your application. This is when most mistakes are made. Waiting to the last minute may not allow sufficient time to address any technical issues or questions you need to resolve before the deadline. The web application will not let you submit until all fields are completed and required documents have been uploaded.

The following tutorial links will help you become acquainted with the ZoomGrants process. The actual CDBG grant application will have some slight differences from that shown in the samples (not all tabs are used, some functionally similar but differently-labeled tab names are used.)

ZoomGrants Applicant Video (hyperlink to come)

ZoomGrants Applicant Slideshow  (hyperlink to come)

CDBG staff review the application for eligibility and completeness, and execute grant contracts on July 1, 2020.


Program Links

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) - Specialty Grants

As of May 1, 2016, the CDBG Planning-Only Grants are no longer a separate fund with a separate application process. Planning-only activities are now funded through the annual CDBG General Purpose Grant application process.

Need help?

Kaaren Roe, Section Manager
Phone: 360-725-3018

Jacquie Andresen, Project Manager
Phone: 360-725-3017

Roberta Golden, CDBG Grant Specialist
Phone: 360-725-5020

Jeff Hinckle, Project Manager
Public Services and Planning Activities
Phone: 360-725-3060

Sheila Lee-Johnston, CDBG State Expert
Phone: 360-725-3009

Genny Matteson, Project Manager
Housing Activities
Phone: 360-725-3093

Michelle Reilly, Project Manager
Phone: 360-725-2725