The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was established by Congress in 1965 to support economic and social development in the Appalachian Region. Appalachia is a 200,000-square-mile region from the spine of the Appalachian Mountains in Southern New York to Northern Mississippi. The ARC program's region includes 13 states; all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The ARC does not have the authority to write implementation grants directly. Therefore it passes grant moneys through other Federal agencies, such as HUD. These agencies act as an administering agency, or basic agency for ARC projects. On average, about $12-18 million dollars of ARC funds are assigned to HUD each year. The majority of the projects are carried-out under the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, with the balance being carried out under the Entitlement CDBG Program. In order for HUD to administer funding for an ARC project, the project must meet one of the three statutory CDBG national objectives, must be an eligible activity, must be an eligible CDBG grantee, and must certify that the project will meet all of the applicable programmatic requirements.
Projects receiving ARC funding through HUD are initiated by the grantee, either as an Entitlement, or through a state program administrator, seeking ARC approval for funding and requesting that the funds be passed-through HUD under the CDBG Program. The CDBG Program serves as the vehicle to transfer funds to states or local government grantees for approved projects, but HUD plays no role in the initiation or selection of projects for ARC funding, only the verification that the projects comply with the CDBG statutory and regulatory requirements.