How To Apply

Submitting a CDBG funding application to CDFA results in either an award or a notice of non‐selection.   Municipalities that are selected to receive a grant are sent an award letter. This begins the process of setting up the grant and ensuring that all contractual documents are in place. These application policies apply to CDBG applications submitted to CDFA.

All applications must be completed and submitted on CDFA’S Grants Management System (GMS) CDFA announces all funding opportunities at the beginning of the program year in January by issuing a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and at Online applications in GMS will be opened in advance of the application deadline dates listed in the NOFA.

Typical Deadline(s): Applications will be accepted yearly on the following schedule below.

Program Area Deadline Application Opened 
Housing and Public Facilities – Round 1 Last Monday in January 4:00 PM 1st Week in November
Housing and Public Facilities – Round 2 Last Monday in July 4:00 PM 1st Week in April
Microenterprise March 15, 2024 4:00 PM 1st Week in January
Emergency On a rolling basis, until all funds are obligated 1st Week in January
Economic Development On a rolling basis, until all funds are obligated 1st Week in January
Planning On a rolling basis, until all funds are obligated 1st Week in January

Application Team 

Applicants are encouraged to identify a strong team with different parties who will work together to and submit a CDBG application The following parties are necessary for a successful application:

  • CDFA staff;
  • Municipal applicant staff/ representative;
  • Grant writer/ administrator;
  • Subrecipient staff/ representative.

Once a project is awarded CDBG funding it will be important to further build out the team that will responsible for successfully carrying out the project.

In general, the application and award process for CDBG funding consideration shall follow the steps below.


Pre Application – Learn about the program

Review the entire Application and Program guide. Potential applicants who have completed the pre-application steps move on to the Application and Program Guide. The purpose of the Application and Program Guide is to:

  • Provide information on National Objectives and Eligible activities and New Hampshire’s priorities for funding.
  • Encourage participation in the public input process for determining CDBG program goals.
  • Give clear steps and policies for completing an application.
  • Define clear evaluation steps, criteria and policies for funding decisions.


Pay close attention to the Administration and Program Requirement section, as well as suggested web links. The purpose of that section is to:

  • Describe federal and state requirements associated with CDBG grants.
  • Provide practical information on how to implement a CDBG project that will meet legal, financial, and program obligations.
  • Provide the grant administrator with a simple, step-by-step approach for the implementation of CDBG-funded projects, including grant approval, set-up, compliance with applicable requirements, audits and close-out.
  • Provide tools to assist in CDBG project implementation. The tools include tips, lists, forms, and sample documents that are in the chapter or in the attachments to each chapter.


STEP 1 –Pre-Application Meeting with CDFA

All potential applicants should contact CDFA to review the proposed project concept prior to submitting an application. CDFA will work with the potential applicant to review information to discuss:

  • There is every reasonable likelihood that the proposed project will meet a federal national objective;
  • The applicant is not otherwise ineligible to apply under the program;
  • Review key dates for applicants;
  • The proposed matching funds, if any, will be secured and readily available at the time of application; and
  • Discuss how to obtain further technical assistance if needed.


STEP 2 – Application Submission

All applications must be submitted through CDFA’s online grants management system and received by CDFA by the application deadline. All applications must meet Application Threshold requirements including:

    1. All parts of the application have been properly completed and all attachments were provided;
    2. All projects shall conform to the goal of the state enabling legislation described in RSA 162-L:12 and to the primary objective as described in 42 U.S.C. 5301(c) of the federal act, meeting a National Objective 24 CFR 570.483 which is to benefit mainly low- and moderate-income persons and households without excluding low-income persons and households and be an eligible activity.
    3. Requested amounts are within the program limits (i.e. max grant limit, grant administration, engineering/architectural, environmental review, labor standards, construction contingency etc.);
    4. In the case of a joint application:
        • Copies of all necessary intergovernmental agreements;
        • Relevant minutes of meetings and authorizations;
    5. All applicants shall submit a housing and community development plan which shall:
        • Identify community development and housing needs which currently exist or are anticipated during the next three years;
        • Specify both short- and long-term community development objectives which are consistent with the national and state objectives;
        • State, as a matter of policy, that involuntary displacement of households from their neighborhoods shall be minimized;
        • If a housing and community development plan is currently on file at the authority and has been adopted no more than three years prior to submission of an application, the applicant may submit a summary;
        • If a housing and community development plan has been revised, an update shall also be submitted;
        • The applicant shall provide as part of the housing and community development plan, or its update, the minutes of the public hearing held to obtain citizen’s comments on the plan;
    6. All projects must meet the following readiness criteria: 
        • State and Local Planning and Zoning Board approvals and other permits necessary to construct the project must be started and likely to be approved with evidence in application;
        • The project must execute the grant agreement within 6 months of the CDFA’s Community Development Advisory Council’s approval. If the project is not able to proceed within 15 months following the date of grant contract execution, CDFA may terminate the grant and re-obligate the funds.
    7.   Grantee Capacity Assessment
      To evaluate an applicant’s capacity and performance to carry out a proposed community development project, the following conditions shall apply:

        • For prior grantees, the applicant’s present capacity to undertake a new program shall be evaluated as well as the applicant’s prior performance by using the following criteria:
          • There have been a significant number of failed projects or monitoring findings that raise questions about applicant capacity; or
          • There has been a monitoring finding that significant corrective actions are necessary to protect the integrity of the project funds, and those corrective actions are not, or will not be implemented within 30 days.
        • Whether the applicant currently has more than $250,000 in unspent and obligated CDBG funds;
    8. Grantee/ Subrecipient Financial Review
      CDFA will underwrite the grantee/subrecipient who is carrying out the CDBG activity to determine whether CDBG funds are needed and that the project can or will be carried out by the applicant or nonprofit sub-grantee.Where a revolving loan fund is proposed for economic development activities, the applicant’s or subrecipient’s ability to administer the fund shall be evaluated by using the following criteria:
      • Evidence of a long-term capability including but not limited to a contract with a bank or administering agency to provide such service; and
      • A written plan for the re-use of the recaptured loan funds.

The Capacity Assessment and Financial Review shall result in one or more of the following actions:

      • A request for clarifying information;
      • Limited modifications to the proposed project;
      • Reduced funding;
      • Elimination of activities that do not meet the national objective or are ineligible;
      • Elimination of activities that do not support the principal activity;
      • Denial of further review for the project for clear failure to comply with one or more of the criteria;
      • Scoring of the application.


The Federal CDBG threshold review will consist of the following items:

  • All activities are eligible under the CDBG program and meet the national objective;
  • Evidence of the authority it received from its local governing body, such as selectmen, town meeting, county commissioners, or city council, to apply for a CDBG grant;
  • Evidence of compliance with statutory public notice and hearing requirements including minutes of at least one public hearing held to provide citizens with information and an opportunity for oral and written comment;
  • Evidence that the Residential Anti Displacement and Relocation Plan for the project was adopted by the municipality’s governing body at a properly noticed public hearing prior to the submittal of the application;
  • Evidence of authorization by the relevant governing body to its Authorized Official to apply; and
  • The housing and community development plan shall be adopted by the municipality’s governing body at a properly noticed public hearing prior to the public hearing on the application. The housing and community development plan public hearing may occur at the same time as the one held on the CDBG application.


STEP 3 – Application Review, Rating and Ranking

Once an application is received, projects will be assigned to the review team which will conduct a more in-depth assessment of the project. The first step in the review process is to determine if the application contains all the required State and Federal threshold requirements.

When reviewing the State and Federal threshold requirements, if the application is found to be:

  • Complete – It will be forwarded to the review staff for full review. The process will consist of the application being scored against other applications in that round. CDFA staff will rank all complete applications in accordance with the criteria contained in the most current MOD.
  • Incomplete – CDFA staff will provide written notification to the applicant that they have fifteen (15) calendar days to submit any necessary information to make the application complete, if federal and state laws allow.

If, at any point during the application reviewing or rating process, it is determined the project does not meet the requirements or that it needs further development (i.e. to meet the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act or the Federal Environmental Review requirements), a recommendation will be made to the Executive Director to suspend the reviewing and rating (scoring) process. The respective staff will document areas where further development is needed to determine if the application can be submitted in the next round or is ineligible for CDBG funds.

Upon receipt of additional information, if the application is found to be:

  • Incomplete – It will not be reviewed in that round and will require re-submittal during a future application cycle. Staff will notify the applicant of the incomplete status.
  • Complete – It will move forward in the process. The process will consist of the application being rated (scored) against other applications in that round.

The scoring criteria used to determine ranking and rating can be found in Xxx of this guide.


STEP 4 – Approval

The CDFA review team recommendation will be brought to the Community Development Advisory Committee for consideration and recommendation.

Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC)

  • As provided in RSA 162-L:15 and RSA 162-L:16, the function of the CDAC shall be to provide advice and consent to the Executive Director and the authority in awarding grants, in adopting application rules and procedures and in developing criteria for awarding the federal funds provided.
  • Funding recommendation summaries are prepared by the authority staff and approved by the Executive Director for consideration by the CDAC. The summary of the recommendations will be presented to the CDAC at its’ regularly scheduled meetings for review and consent.
  • The authority may award a CDBG grant amount that is different from the amount requested by the applicant. Applicants are not penalized for requesting the maximum grant amount, but the authority reserves the right to award a grant amount it deems appropriate to complete the project.
  • If municipalities, which have applied for CDBG funds, received no funding or fewer funds than requested, they are eligible to request an administrative review by the authority. Requests must be made no later than 15 days after the CDAC meeting and must adhere to the Administrative Review procedures.
  • The authority will notify applicants in writing of their funding status no later than 30 days after the decision by CDAC. In cases where an administrative review is requested, steps outlined under Program Hearing Procedures and Administrative Reviews will be followed.


Role of Governor, Attorney General and Executive Council

Pursuant to RSA 162-L:16, following the Executive Director’s determination of final grant awards and the consent of the CDAC, the approval of the governor and executive council shall be required. A contract between the applicant and the authority shall then be signed. In order for funds to be released, the contract shall be approved by the governor, attorney general and executive council.


Program Hearing Procedures and Administrative Reviews

  • Committee Hearings.  All CDAC meetings shall be open to the public and an opportunity for public comment shall be provided at each meeting.


Administrative Review Procedure and Time Limits

This section shall be applicable to municipalities which have applied for CDBG funds for housing, public facilities, economic development and emergency grants and which either received no funds or fewer funds than requested.


  1. A municipality may apply for an administrative review of the scoring of its application by filing a written request within 15 calendar days of the date that they receive their award letter from CDFA.
  2. The request for an administrative review shall be signed by the Authorized Official of the municipality and shall contain the reasons for the requested review. The request shall not introduce new information but shall only explain or clarify information contained in the application submitted.
  3. The executive director shall review the written request and shall also review the evaluation process and award recommendations previously made. Within 15 calendar days of receipt of the request, the executive director, based on the information in the request as well as the scoring criteria, shall recommend to the CDAC that it affirm or modify its prior decision.
  4. Within 30 days of the executive director’s recommendation, the CDAC shall, based on the executive director’s review of the scoring criteria, affirm or modify its prior decision.


STEP 5 – Notice of Decision

The authority will notify applicants in writing of their funding status no later than 30 days after the decision by CDAC. In cases where an administrative review is requested, steps outlined under Program Hearing Procedures and Administrative Reviews will be followed.

Grantees must return the executed Grant Agreement within 6 months of receipt from CDFA.

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