Distressed Cities Technical Assistance

For complete information about eligibility requirements and submitting an application to the Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) program, please go to DCTA program page on HUD.gov.

The DCTA program is designed to improve fiscal health and build administrative capacity of relatively small units of general local government (UGLGs or local governments) that are economically distressed. The economic distress 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 to successfully implement projects and 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 economic stabilization and recovery, federal development programs, affordable housing financing, community engagement practices, cross-sector partnerships, and plan implementation.

Approved TA engagements begin with an assessment of your local government’s fiscal health and financial management practices. 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 UGLG’s technical assistance.

This program is designed to help small UGLGs:

  • Improve Financial Management: Adopt effective, efficient, and sustainable (long-term) financial management practices that improve fiscal health
  • Build Program Capacity: Based on the UGLG’s interests, build capacity in one program area, such as:
    • Creating opportunities for economic revitalization and growth
    • Planning for economic stabilization and recovery post disaster (including prolonged disasters and public health crises)
    • Strategizing around housing and community development projects, including identifying funding
    • Leveraging federal development programs such as opportunity zones
  • Improve Internal Processes: Based on the UGLG’s needs, improve at least one internal process, such as:
    • Developing financial policies and procedures
    • Gathering and analyzing data that is representative of the community
    • Implementing or tracking progress of recently adopted planning documents
    • Building cross-sector partnerships
    • Establishing equitable community engagement practices

This program allows HUD to develop a set of best practices and recommendations to share with other communities facing similar challenges.


If you have any questions about the DCTA program please contact the DCTA Team at distressedcities@hud.gov.

Capacity Needs Assessment

The first phase of DCTA is a capacity needs assessment (CNA). To learn more about the CNA process, as well as the financial management component of the CNA, view the Capacity Needs Assessment Tool. CNAs result in TA recommendations that often lead to direct TA engagements.

DCTA Resources

Access resources, webinars, reports, and other information relevant to small units of general local governments (UGLGs), including COVID-19 resources.

View the DCTA Resources