The Distressed Cities and Persistent Poverty Technical Assistance (DCTA) program is designed to improve fiscal health and build administrative capacity of relatively small units of general local government (UGLGs or local governments) and their nonprofit partners in places experiencing persistent poverty and economic distress. A community’s needs may be attributable to multiple factors including but not limited to changing market dynamics, emigration, and/or natural disasters.
DCTA considers good fiscal health, strong financial performance, and effective financial management practices to be the foundation for local governments and nonprofits to successfully obtain funding, implement projects, and accomplish goals. These are viewed as the central components of the technical assistance (TA) offered through this program. Other possible areas of TA under this program include governance and management, leadership development, data and research, building partnerships, community engagement, strategic planning, plan implementation, and program evaluation.
This program is designed to help small local governments and their nonprofit partners:
* The timeline for each phase depends on the scale and challenge of the needs for each engagement. The average duration of engagement (Phase 1 through Phase 3) is estimated to be 18 months.
The first phase of DCTA is a capacity needs assessment (CNA). Importantly, this not a community needs assessment, this assessment focuses on the local government itself and its operations as an entity. The CNA helps the local government and the TA team identify strengths, as well as needs, within current fiscal management, funding acquisition, and community development activities. Key areas of capacity assessment, beyond financial management and fiscal health, include economic development, affordable housing, community engagement and partnerships, and disaster recovery as needed. To learn more about the CNA process, as well as the financial management component of the CNA, view the tool below.
Note, any information gathered through this assessment is not used by HUD or any other agency for program monitoring or compliance; it is only used to guide your technical assistance.
The second phase of DCTA provides direct assistance from field experts to address the needs identified during the CNA process. These activities may involve the provision of training and assistance in using tools, templates, and best practices for maximizing financial capacity and funds administration. TA teams often help the local government with community partnership development, downtown development, and affordable housing plans. Direct TA helps connect the local government with federal funding opportunities, regional and state initiatives, and local nonprofits focused on the priorities identified through the CNA. This phase builds capacity and long-term sustainability for growth and development.
Learn more about the DCTA program, including program basics, eligibility, process examples, and current recipients. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your community is eligible and might benefit from the DCTA program, please submit a request for TA.