Before any activity can be funded in whole or in part with CDBG funds, a determination must be made as to whether the activity is eligible under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended. Activities must also meet one of the three national objectives. A determination of the eligibility of an activity is made as a part of the project application review process. DOLA will also review which national objective category a project will fall under.

However, under the CDBG regulations, a project is not considered as meeting a national objective until it is complete. Therefore, grantees must be aware of the national objective category and document compliance appropriately within their full application. There are a number of different criteria by which an activity can meet one of the three national objectives. [42 U.S.C. 5304(b)(3) and 24 CFR 570.483]

The three national objectives are:

  • Benefit low and moderate income (LMI) persons
  • Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight
  • Urgent need

All implementation projects funded through the CDBG‐DR Watershed Resilience Pilot Program are subject to an environmental and historic preservation review. These reviews are required for two reasons:

  • To ensure federal funds are used to place people of low and moderate income in environmentally safe conditions; and
  • To ensure federal funds are NOT used to negatively impact environmental conditions that exist near a project site.

Project funds are available to assist watershed coalitions and coalition-designated stakeholders in completing projects that were identified in the Watershed Master Plan or a similar regional planning document. Competitive projects will achieve multiple objectives, take a multijurisdictional or regional approach, and be identified as high-priority projects in Watershed Master Plans or otherwise demonstrate broad support from several key partners to help achieve resilience and community development goals in the watershed. Examples of anticipated implementation or construction activities include, but are not limited to:

  •  Restoring streams to build resilience to future disasters
  •  Implementing mitigation and stability projects that maximize community benefit
  •  Creating recreation corridors and greenways for public use
  •  Developing public use parks and trails for greater community connectivity
  •  Supporting conservation easements and property acquisitions

Projects submitted by coalition stakeholders must be accompanied by a coalition letter of support and be ranked by priority, if multiple projects are submitted in the watershed. These projects must be well developed and ready to begin immediately after contract execution, successful completion of environmental review, and receipt of a release of funds letter. Projects must be completed within approximately 18 months of award. Projects must comply with all federal environmental and historic preservation review, as well as all CDBG requirements including procurement and Davis-Bacon wage standards (see the Regulations & Policies section of these guidelines for details).

CWCB Watershed Guidelines

Colorado is allocating a portion of Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to help flood and fire-affected communities build capacity and plan for more resilient watersheds. These disasters caused extensive damage to stream corridors, water distribution and treatment systems, and affected wildlife habitat and recreational amenities.

Now Colorado’s communities have the opportunity to come together to create a coordinated, future-oriented framework to restore and create resilience in their watersheds to benefit communities and ecosystems. In order to begin river and watershed restoration in a thoughtful and coordinated way, the Colorado Water Conservation Board granted funds to flood-affected watersheds to create stakeholder-driven Watershed Master Plans to generate community priorities, assess damage, and develop a list of prioritized restoration projects. This process has catalyzed communities around their rivers, challenged stakeholders to work hand-in-hand with their neighbors, and set the stage for a long-term recovery process that prioritizes multiple objectives.

The first allocation of CDBG-DR funds totaling $62.8 million was made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on December 16, 2013. The majority of those funds have been awarded. We are currently seeking applications for the second allocation of CDBG-DR funding totaling $199.3 million, which was awarded to the State of Colorado on June 3, 2014. Of this second allocation, approximately $25 million has been made available through the Watershed Resilience Pilot Program. A third allocation of $58.2 million has been announced by HUD, but has yet to be awarded.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) has been a primary impetus for the formation of this organization in Estes Valley as well as comparable watershed organizations throughout the flood-impacted Front Range area. The CWCB and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs are encouraging the development of these coalitions as a mechanism for distributing funding from the federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program.

Why was the EVWC formed?