City Establishes Expedited Process to Approve Federal Grant Awards

The reimbursement process to put grant funds into the hands of nonprofit providers just got shortened. The Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) and the Office of the Comptroller collaborated to establish a streamlined process to approve federally funded Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). The Board of Estimates will take its first action under this new process at its March 1st meeting.

“Expediting the city’s reimbursement process for the city's subrecipient nonprofits was a high priority for DHCD as we strive to be as supportive to our nonprofit providers as possible,” said Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy. “We appreciate the Office of the Comptroller being open to DHCD's recommendation for this much needed process improvement.”

The Board of Estimates (BOE) will now approve multiple operational CDBG grants from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in a singular vote, with a template version of subrecipients’ agreements and awarded amounts presented as part of regular BOE documentation. Previously the BOE voted individually on these operational grants, which could require more than 70 separate votes.  

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are HUD-supported funds that address needs such as infrastructure, economic development projects, public facilities installation, community centers, housing rehabilitation, public services, clearance/acquisition, microenterprise assistance, code enforcement and homeowner assistance. DHCD manages the distribution of CDBG funds to City of Baltimore agencies and to local nonprofit and community partners.  

The Board of Estimates’ first action under this new process will approve $7,223,345 in operating funds that will be distributed to non-profit subrecipients.  

“I want to thank the Commissioner Alice Kennedy, her staff at DHCD, the Department of Audits and our Board of Estimates team for their work streamlining the operational grants approval process,” Comptroller Bill Henry said. “Our city’s service providers tackle Baltimore’s toughest issues, and it’s our job to reimburse their approved expenses in a timely manner. This new process will allow us to move quickly while still providing the proper oversight.”

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