DCTA Program Resources

Resources, webinars, reports, and other information are provided to support Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) recipients and smaller distressed communities recently impacted by a natural disaster. Each section features COVID-19 related information.

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Resources and Guidance

General Resources and Guidance

Basically CDBG for States - Support to Implement State CDBG Programs

Training developed to guide and assist State CDBG grantees in the implementation of their programs and covers topics including: national objectives, eligible activities, administration, financial management, and other federal requirements

CDBG-DR General Overview

Overview of the CDBG Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, including a brief synopsis of the history of the program, a summary of the objectives of the program, the rules and requirements of the program, and a summary of the process for implementing disaster recovery activities. View the CDBG-DR page on the HUD Exchange for more information.


PolicyLink’s relaunched informative website includes new briefs, videos, and resources that examine the intersection of arts, culture, and equitable development and also shares how community development goals can be reached through the integration of arts and culture in partnership with non-arts organizations

HUD Community Resilience Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to assist communities in enhancing their resilience to climate-related natural hazard risks. Local governments can use the toolkit to identify natural hazard risks and resilience actions that can be integrated into existing programs.

HUD Disaster Resources

HUD's disaster resources and partners with federal and state agencies to help implement disaster recovery assistance

ICDBG Information and Resources

Overview of and resources related to the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program, which provides eligible grantees with direct grants for use in developing viable Indian and Alaska Native Communities, including decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities, primarily for low- and moderate-income persons

State CDBG Information and Resources

Overview of and resources related to the State CDBG program, which offers grants to non-entitlement areas (cities with a population less than 50,000 and counties with a population less than 200,000) for housing, community services, and job retention

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Webinars and Events

Previously Recorded Webinars and Events

HUD's Responding to COVID-19 webinar series presents resources for small units of general local government (UGLGs) related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the webinars provide digestible information on how small UGLGs may access public funding, data, and other resources made available due to the pandemic.

This webinar series consists of a total of six sessions spread across three topic areas. The topic areas are: housing, health, and economic development. The following recordings are posted:

Using State CDBG to Promote Economic Development Webinar

In this HUD webinar, presenters provide an overview of how to use State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to promote economic development.

HUD sponsored

E104: Grow with Google: Helping Jobseekers Kickstart Their Careers in High-Demand Fields

In December 2020, Workforce Central, the official podcast of the National Association of Workforce Boards, hosted Christian Michael, Program Manager for Grow with Google, to discuss the work that Google is doing to create opportunities for nontraditional talent to kickstart their career in high demand fields, including IT.

Enhancing Fiscal Resilience in a Disruptive Environment: What We’ve Learned and What’s Next

On December 18, 2020, NACo hosted a webinar where KPMG and county officials discussed different approaches to enhance resilience in light of shifting public health, economic, budgetary and community dynamics – and how the difficult lessons of 2020 can help counties navigate a still uncertain 2021 outlook.

NLIHC National Call: Coronavirus, Housing, and Homelessness

The NLIHC Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition holds a weekly national call entitled “Coronavirus, Housing, and Homelessness” that featured updates from national, state, and local advocates and service providers working to assist people experiencing homelessness, low-income households, and members of marginalized communities, all of whom are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recordings and slides from all past sessions are posted on the NLIHC website.

Several 2020 sessions are highlighted below:

  • On November 2, participants discussed tenant rights in rental properties backed by a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage, the impact of the pandemic on seniors and people with disabilities, and a federal district court judge’s decision to deny a preliminary injunction on the eviction moratorium issued by the CDC. Participants also gave field updates and discussed the state of Coronavirus and disaster relief negotiations.
  • On October 5, nearly 600 participants learned about new research estimating the amount of back rent that will be owed by the end of the year, litigation surrounding the CDC eviction moratorium, and the impacts of COVID-19 on housing providers.
  • On July 13, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director, Mark Calabria, and HUD Assistant Secretary of Public and Indian Housing, Hunter Kurtz, discussed efforts by FHFA and HUD to address the needs of renters.
  • On June 29, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) spoke about the “Protecting Renters from Evictions and Fees Act,” discussed the need for both short-term emergency solutions and long-term structural change, and urged advocates to pressure members of Congress by sharing stories about what our communities are experiencing.
  • On May 26, Dr. Megan Sandel and Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer joined speakers from Utah Housing Coalition, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Tenderloin Housing Clinic and more to share updates and resources needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic for people experiencing homelessness and low-income renters.
  • On May 18, Ras Baraka, Mayor of Newark, NJ joined speakers from National Coalition for a Civil Right to Council, Arizona Department of Housing, Florida Housing Finance Corporation, Montana Housing, and others to share updates and resources needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic for people experiencing homelessness and low-income renters.

Sustainability and the Path to Equity

On August 5, 2020, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted a webinar to explore how communities, NGOs, and the private sector can work together to create a more sustainable economy that delivers environmental justice and creates opportunity for all.

CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Access to Capital and Community Facilities

On July 8, 2020, the fourth and final installment of the CDFA Alliance for Rural Impact (ARI) Rural Finance Webinar Series discussed community facilities resources and other accessible capital for rural community development.

Deferring Program Fees: COVID-19 Considerations

On July 8, 2020, this webinar unpacked why, when, and how some homeownership programs with lasting affordability are seeking ways to support their homeowners in this challenging time. Hosted by Grounded Solutions Network, the webinar discussed reasons why some programs are deferring or waiving monthly ground lease and other program fees, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rural Resilience: Hurricanes, Wildfire, and COVID-19

On June 24, 2020, the Rural Assembly and Daily Yonder held a webinar to share how disaster preparedness and response continues in communities dealing with wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme weather, all while also feeling the impacts of a pandemic. A video and transcript of the webinar are available.

Maximizing Value on Every Public Dollar During and After COVID-19

On June 24, 2020, NACo held a webinar focused on how counties can use liquidity analyses and data to maximize the value on current tax dollars and any CARES Act funding received and review ways to look under every stone for taxpayer benefit.

Local Strategies for Housing, Wealth, and Job Equity Webinar Series

On June 17 – July 20, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Reinventing Our Communities (ROC) Local hosted a series of 11 webinars which are now available online. The series examines local solutions to housing, job, and wealth equity challenges. Leading researchers and practitioners provide expertise for community leaders on topics that include rethinking zoning, supporting small businesses, upskilling and reskilling, and affordable housing preservation. These webinars can help you frame, contextualize, and organize around challenges in your community.

Childcare and COVID-19: Federal Resources and Best Practices for County Governments

On June 17, 2020, NACo held a webinar focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on access to safe and affordable childcare, and what counties are doing to maintain the current supply of childcare and sustain childcare businesses upon reopening. Federal resources for childcare services during COVID-19 and what counties can do to maximize these services and ensure safe, healthy learning environments for young children were outlined. A copy of the presentation slide show is available.

CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Building the Road to Recovery

On June 10, 2020, the CDFA-ARI held their third installment in the Rural Finance Webinar Series. The webinar discussed the development finance tools that can support rural economies as they rebuild. A link to the recorded webinar, as well as the first two webinars held April 15 and May 6, can be requested by simply registering for the free webinar series.

The Health of Our Democracy: Voting During a Pandemic

On June 9, 2020, the Aspen Institute hosted a conversation on how states and local jurisdictions can execute a voting process that is secure, trusted, and safe.

How Community Development Organizations Change When They Embrace Arts and Culture

On May 13, 2020, Arts, Culture, and Community Development featured community-based organizations and the artists with whom they have partnered sharing stories and lessons learned from local strategies to build stronger connections with residents, create and enhance neighborhood identity and solidarity, and achieve better outcomes in local planning and policy. View PolicyLink’s brief, How Organizations Change When They Embrace Arts and Culture, that explores these themes and stories.

Rural Health and COVID-19

On May 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) collaborated to host a webinar that provided an overview of the rural health focused efforts by HHS and USDA and highlighted specific tools and resources to help combat COVID-19. This page provides the recording, audio transcript, and presentation slides.

OLHCHH and Partners: Healthy Homes COVID-19 Webinars

On May 4 – 6, 2020, HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) and the National Healthy Homes Partnership at the University of Missouri presented three webinars on COVID-19 mitigation and disinfecting strategies for multifamily and public housing developments. These webinars and related handouts were presented in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control Waterborne Disease Branch (CDC WDB) and Washington State Department of Health.

Accessory Dwelling Units Webinar

On May 29, 2019, LISC hosted a webinar where two Rubinger Fellows spoke about how they’re leveraging Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in their unique markets. Affordable housing is becoming increasingly hard to find throughout many growing cities around the country. ADUs offer an alternative to customary housing units, taking the form of basement apartments, living units above the garage, new detached units, or 'tiny houses' built in the backyard of an existing home.

Eviction Prevention Toolkit Webinar

On April 18, 2019, LISC hosted a webinar where Barbara Geries from Champlain Housing Trust and Harold Nassau from The Consortium for Housing Asset Management (CHAM) discussed the value of operating an Eviction Prevention Program (EPP), provided basic information about program structuring, and gave examples of existing programs.

Studies, Reports, and Tools

General Studies, Reports, and Tools

11 Terms You Should Know to Better Understand Structural Racism

This glossary describes terms related to structural racism and terms used to promote racial equity analysis. This resource was created by the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change, a group that worked with leading innovators to produce strong and reliable frameworks for successful and sustainable community change and development.

2020 FDIC Community Banking Study

In December 2020, the FDIC released a new large-scale study on the state of the nation’s community banks. The study documents the critical role community banks play in providing access to credit in several key areas of the U.S. economy, particularly through lending to support commercial real estate, small businesses, and agriculture.

Assess Capacity with SWOT Analysis

This tool guides you through a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis to collect and organize information to explore new opportunities, make decisions about new strategies, identify areas for change, and refine and redirect current efforts with new solutions. Factors include priority needs, market conditions, geographic targets, potential partners, and HUD resources.

Building Codes Save: A Nationwide Study of Loss Prevention

Culminating over 10 years of research, this FEMA publication highlights and reveals the high value of adopting and enforcing International Codes for hazard mitigation as a return on investment. A 12-page summary, Protecting Communities and Saving Money – The Case for Adopting Building Codes, as well as the full-study detailing this project—its methodology, results, and conclusions—are available on FEMA’s website.

The Case for Opportunity Zone Investments in Rural Areas

The Opportunity Zones allow investors to benefit from the initiative's capital gains tax breaks, to make money, accomplish multi-generational long-term financial planning and diversify their portfolios away from equities. The tool has been underutilized in rural areas, despite the potential these areas hold.

CDFIs and the Capital Markets: Tapping into Impact Investors

LISC conducted an analysis of the CDFI industry’s initial forays into the capital markets on a rated basis, and examined how CDFIs can expand their role as trusted intermediaries for capital investment in people and places where disparities in health, employment, wealth and financial security, and overall quality of life have stemmed from a lack of capital access.

Civic Assets for More Equitable Cities

The Urban Institute recently released a new report that draws out valuable lessons learned from Reimagining the Civic Commons, a philanthropy-funded national initiative focused on reviving shared civic assets—parks, libraries, plazas, recreational centers, and more—into places that have the power to foster engagement, equity, environmental sustainability, and economic development.

Learn about the Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative.

Disaster Help Desk for Business

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is offering businesses and chambers a call in number 1-888-My-Biz-Help (888-692-4943) for direct support from disaster recovery experts as well as a digital contact via their help desk form.

Distressed Communities Index

The Economic Innovation Group released the Distressed Communities Index (DCI), a timely research project that maps community well-being across the country down to the zip code scale. The report is accompanied by a digital mapping interactive that allows users to explore all of the data included in the DCI across zip codes, counties, and congressional districts.

Fahe Members Partner Nationally to Bring Financial Opportunity and Digital Inclusion to North Central West Virginia

Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA) and Homeownership Center partners with Highland Community Builders (HBC) and Rural LISC to launch their Digital Navigator program and a Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) to serve the residents of Randolph, Barbour, Tucker, Upshur, and Lewis counties in West Virginia.

Guidance on Adjusting Discretionary Incentive Programs to Support Small Business Recovery

How can economic development organizations modify their incentive programs to help struggling small businesses? To assist in sorting through the options, Smart Incentives has published a guide, prepared for the State Economic Development Executives Network with their partners at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC).

How Public Officials Can Use Data and Evidence to Make Strategic Budget Cuts

The Pew Charitable Trusts released new research on how state and county leaders can use evidence to make strategic budget cuts in the face of economic downturn. The research outlines four strategies, updating budget guidelines, assessing needs and analyzing program performance, using national clearinghouses, and adapting program delivery that can help government officials reduce spending while addressing increasing community needs.

How Small Towns and Cities Use Local Assets to Rebuild Economies

This study, commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), highlights successful strategies small cities and towns use to promote economic development. The study focuses on how these places emphasize existing assets and distinctive resources to complement a broad economic strategy.

How to Prepare for Natural Disasters: A Pre-Disaster Toolkit for Small- to Medium-Size Communities

Prepared by the U.S. EPA Urban Waters Federal Partnership, this toolkit is designed to help small- to medium-size communities jump-start their natural disaster planning process.

Leading with Race to Reimagine Youth Justice: Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative’s (JDAI’s) Deep-End Initiative

The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released a new report of site-based work to dramatically reduce youth incarceration, especially for youth of color. Casey’s deep-end effort spans 12 demonstration sites across the United States. It employs intentional and data-driven strategies that move systems toward equity and specifically focus on youth of color. As a part of this work, sites engage community organizations and community members to increase opportunities for young people of color in their own neighborhoods.

Leveraging Development Finance Tools to Attract Opportunity Zone Investment

This guide, published by the U.S. EPA Office of Community Revitalization, provides an overview of various development finance tools and suggestions for how communities could use these tools to finance projects in Opportunity Zones.

Opportunity Starts at Home: Racial Inequities in Housing

The Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector affordable homes campaign published a new fact sheet that explains how:

  • Racial disparities manifest in housing and which historical policies caused these disparities
  • Racial disparities in housing impact other sectors
  • Some modern-day policies and practices continue to exacerbate the problem
  • The campaign’s federal policy agenda could help advance racial equity and ensure that people most in need receive the most help

Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing 2020

NLIHC’s annual report compares rents and wages nationally and in every state, county, and metropolitan area in the United States.

The Poverty Narrative: Understanding Disadvantage in Rural, Urban, and Suburban Places

One of seven video presentations, sponsored by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, entitled the Poverty Narrative. The series is dedicated to a deeper understanding of poverty in the U.S. and Midwest. This video focuses on examining poverty as well as practices and factors that influence poverty in rural, urban, and suburban settings. Speakers discuss how journalists should consider historical context when reporting on poverty-related disparities.

The Racial Equity Index: A New Data Tool to Drive Local Efforts to Dismantle Structural Racism

This new index, from PolicyLink, reveals significant racial inequities even in the most prosperous cities and metros and provides data to help leaders develop targeted strategies for inclusive prosperity.

Rural Transit Fact Book 2020

The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute has published a report that features national, state, and county-level information on rural transit in the United States, and includes rural and urban comparisons on demographics and transportation.

Three Local Policy Innovations that Promote Inclusive, Equitable Mixed-Income Communities

This article in Shelterforce discusses how inclusion and equity in more American metropolitan areas is possible through innovations in local, regional, and state policies related to mixed-income communities.

Thoughtful Design Can Create High-Quality Affordable Multifamily Housing

In the culmination of a four-part series, this Brookings report examines strategies to save costs on three affordable housing building components: the exterior shell, interiors, and services. The analysis focuses on how innovation in design and construction can reduce the costs of multifamily housing without sacrifice. Affordable housing does not have to look cheap inside or out.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

These interactive tools can be used to help you understand and address your community’s climate risks.

Working with Them: Small-Scale Landlord Strategies for Avoiding Evictions

This article in Housing Policy details how small-scale landlords in Philadelphia avoid evictions in order to keep tenants in their homes and avert costs associated with evictions. In the article, in-depth interviews reveal that many landlords are willing to work with tenants to devise a payment plan, forgive late fees, or accept services in lieu of rent. Though these strategies vary among landlords, the research could inform eviction prevention policy to meet the needs of both tenants and small-scale landlords.

Funding Opportunities Targeting Small Distressed Cities

Other Upcoming Funding Deadlines

Department of Homeland Security | Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities

The grant supports pre-disaster mitigation activities such as:

  1. Support state and local governments, tribes, and territories through capability- and capacity-building to enable them to identify mitigation actions and implement projects that reduce risks posed by natural hazards
  2. Encourage and enable innovation while allowing flexibility, consistency, and effectiveness
  3. Promote partnerships and enable high-impact investments to reduce risk from natural hazards with a focus on critical services and facilities, public infrastructure, public safety, public health, and communities
  4. Provide a significant opportunity to reduce future losses and minimize impacts on the DRF
  5. Support the adoption and enforcement of building codes, standards, and policies that will protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, take into account future conditions, and have long-lasting impacts on community risk-reduction, including for critical services and facilities and for future disaster costs

Deadline: January 29, 2021

USDA | Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program

Grants may be used to plan or implement food projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition.

Deadline: May 4, 2021

DOL | DWG Grants Program Guidance

The DOL National Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) are discretionary grants awarded to states, outlying areas, tribal governments, and local Workforce Development Boards to provide employment-related services for dislocated workers. The Department funds two types of DWGs: Disaster Recovery and Employment Recovery.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA | Food and Nutrition Service Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering funding through the Summer Food Service Program to provide free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need during the summer months.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA-Rural Development | Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program

This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Examples of essential facilities include Health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

View the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program Fact Sheet.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA-Rural Development | Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program

This program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.

View the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program Fact Sheet.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.