What types of activities are eligible but may not be feasible?
Date Published: January 2016
Public services as identified at 24 CFR 570.201(e). Public services may include the installation of satellite dishes and similar equipment on private homes or the provision of wireless routers and/or computers to income-eligible persons or households. Most grantees may only spend 15 percent of their CDBG grants plus 15 percent of the program income earned in the prior program year on public service activities. This severely limits the amount of CDBG funds that grantees may spend on public services. This public service cap is statutory and cannot be waived.
There is a monthly cost for accessing Internet service, and some households may be unable to afford the cost. Subsidizing the cost on behalf of an individual or family would be eligible as a public service.
A business or nonprofit/municipal internet provider receiving CDBG assistance may simply be asked to reduce the cost of providing Internet service in some neighborhoods/areas.
Note: Providing “backbone” (major transmission lines, usually high speed fiber, that carry signals/data for the Internet) or “first mile” (telecommunication networks delivering communications connectivity to customers) infrastructure that serves a very large geographic area (e.g., upgrades the infrastructure for an entire metropolitan area, or extends service across the entire western part of a state) is unlikely to meet a national objective because the service area would be too large to qualify (e.g., an entire metropolitan area cannot be less than 80 percent of the median income for that metro area).