Community Development Block Grant

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

The Community Development Block Grant program is an important funding tool for implementing community plans. Municipalities can regularly apply for funding for qualifying activities and projects.  The Mercer County Regional Planning Commission is available to help Mercer County communities apply for funding from this program.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is federally funded through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program awards grants in order to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services. The CDBG program is an important tool in helping local governments tackle the most serious challenges facing their communities.

CDBG funds are to be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons, carry out activities which aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight, or address existing conditions that pose a serious and immediate threat to the welfare of the community where other financial resources are not available to meet these needs.

CDBG funds may be used for activities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Acquisition of Real Property
  • Relocation and Demolition
  • Rehabilitation of Residential and Non-Residential Structures
  • Construction of Public Facilities and Improvements, such as Water and Sewer Facilities, Streets, Neighborhood Centers, and the Conversion of Schools for Eligible Purposes
  • Public Services (within certain limits)

The annual appropriation for the CDBG program is generally split between entitlement communities and the states. Entitlement communities are larger municipalities that receive their own annual funding allocation.  Smaller, non-entitlement communities may seek funding from Mercer County’s annual entitlement allocation.  Furthermore, the states distribute the funds to localities that do not qualify as entitlement communities through a competitive application process.  Entitlement communities in Mercer County are the cities of Farrell, Hermitage and Sharon, the boroughs of Greenville, Grove City, and Sharpsville, Pine Township and Mercer County. 

What is MCRPC’s Role in CDBG?

MCRPC serves its members’ community development needs via grant writing and project administration/management expertise. MCRPC has helped numerous communities apply for and receive competitive CDBG funding through applications to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). DCED administers the CDBG program for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania . Interested individuals and groups are encouraged to contact their local municipality to begin the competitive application process.

In addition to the competitive application process, non-entitlement communities and other organizations may apply to Mercer County for a portion of their CDBG entitlement funding. MCRPC assists the county commissioners in determining which projects to fund during this process.

Currently, MCRPC administers Mercer County, City of Farrell, Greenville, Grove City and Sharpsville Boroughs and Pine Township ‘s CDBG entitlement programs, as well as member communities that have been awarded competitive CDBG funds. MCRPC’s project administration/management is a daily process that occurs throughout the year to insure compliance with numerous applicable local, state, and federal laws, regulations and standards. Preparing requests for proposals, project bidding, holding public hearings, financial management, environmental reviews and labor standards compliance are several of the administrative tasks performed to successfully bring a project to fruition.


The HOME Program is a flexible financing tool for housing activities that promotes community stability by creating additional affordable housing units through new construction and rehabilitation.  Eligible applicants for HOME funds through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED) are units of local governments, including cities, counties, boroughs and townships.

On behalf of Mercer County municipalities, MCRPC has applied for and received numerous competitive HOME grants from PA DCED.  These efforts included multi-municipal efforts involving the City of Hermitage, Greenville, Mercer, and Wheatland Boroughs and Findley, East Lackawannock, Coolspring, Lackawannock, Delaware, Hempfield and Jefferson Townships. 

Subsequent administrative tasks undertaken by MCRPC associated with these single family, owner occupied housing rehabilitation programs included environmental review, reporting, monitoring of consultants, bookkeeping, processing requests for payment , return of interest, overall coordination and project closeout.

Who to Contact?

For more information on the Mercer County CDBG programs, please contact Chris Conti  or Peter Messina at (724) 981-2412.

You may also contact your local elected officials for more information.