Community Services Block Grant

To provide assistance to States and local communities, working through a network of community action agencies and other neighborhood-based organizations, for the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income families and individuals in rural and

urban areas to become fully self-sufficient (particularly families who are attempting to transition off a State program carried out under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act) and (1) To provide services and activities having a measurable and potential major impact on causes of poverty in the community or those areas of the community where poverty is a particularly acute problem; (2) to provide activities designed to assist low-income participants, including the elderly poor, to: (a) secure and retain meaningful employment; (b) attain an adequate education; (c) make better use of available income; (d) obtain and maintain adequate housing and a suitable living environment; (e) obtain emergency assistance through loans or grants to meet immediate and urgent individual and family needs, including health services, nutritious food, housing, and employment-related assistance; (f) remove obstacles and solve problems which block the achievement of self-sufficiency; (g) achieve greater participation in the affairs of the community; and (h) make more effective use of other related programs; (3) to provide on an emergency basis for the provision of such supplies and services, nutritious foodstuffs, and related services, as may be necessary to counteract conditions of starvation and malnutrition among the poor; and (4) to coordinate and establish linkages between governmental and other social services programs to assure the effective delivery of such services to low-income individuals.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Program Accomplishments

A total of 192 grants were awarded in fiscal year 2007. It is anticipated that 197 grants will be awarded in fiscal year 2008.

Uses and Use Restrictions

(1) States receive block grants to ameliorate the causes of poverty in communities.

The block grant approach gives the States flexibility to tailor their programs to the particular services needs in their communities.

(2) States are required to use at least 90 percent of their allocations for grants to "eligible entities" as defined in the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act, as amended; this includes primarily locally-based community action agencies and/or organizations that serve seasonal or migrant farm workers.

(2) No more than the greater of $55,000 or 5 percent of each State's allocation may be used for administrative expenses at the State level.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The Secretary is authorized to make grants to States.

This includes each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The Secretary also provides assistance directly to the governing body of an Indian Tribe or Tribal organization upon application by the tribe.

Only State-recognized tribes, as evidenced by a statement to that effect by the Governor, or tribes formally recognized by the Secretary of the Interior, under the procedure for such recognition in 25 CFR 54, are eligible to receive direct grants.

Beneficiary Eligibility

States make grants to qualified locally-based nonprofit community antipoverty agencies and other eligible entities which provide services to low-income individuals and families. The official poverty line, as established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, is used as a criterion of eligibility in the Community Services Block Grant program. When a State determines that it serves the objectives of the block grant, it may revise the income limit, not to exceed 125 percent of the official poverty line.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Each State desiring to receive an allotment for a fiscal year is required to submit an application to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Each application must contain assurances by the appropriate State designee that the State will comply with Section 676 of the Community Services Block Grant Act and also meet conditions enumerated in Sections 678(B-D). The State is required to hold at least one legislative hearing every three years in conjunction with the development of the State Plan (Section 676(a)(3). States are also required to conducts public hearings on the proposed use and distribution of funds to be provided under the Act. The latter sets forth the general purpose for which funds will be used, restrictions on administrative expenses, eligible recipients, board requirements for community action agencies and other nonprofit organizations, fiscal control, monitoring, and Federal investigation provisions, coordination between antipoverty programs in each community and certain prohibitions on political activities. The Chief Executive Officer of each State is also required to designate a lead agency to prepare and submit a plan to the Secretary of HHS describing how the State will carry out the assurances in Section 676. This program is excluded from coverage under 45 CFR, Part 1050.

Award Procedures

HHS determines the amount of funds to be allocated as block grants to each State in accordance with the formula set forth in the Community Services Block Grant Act. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has the authority to apportion to the HHS through the course of a year the Congressional appropriation for block grants. Consistent with OMB's apportionment of funds, HHS will assign allotments to the States through individual awards or a series of awards, normally on a quarterly basis.


The application deadline for States and Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations is September 1 of each fiscal year.


Community Opportunities, Accountability, Training, and Educational Services Act of 1998, Title II, Section 201 and Sections 671-thru 679; Public Laws 97-35, 103-252, Public Laws 106-554 and 98-502.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.


Funds may be withheld from any State which does not utilize its allotment substantially in accordance with the provisions of the Community Services Block Grant Act and the assurances provided in its application. This may be done only after adequate notice and an opportunity for a hearing is conducted within the affected State.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35 as amended by the Human Services Amendments of 1998, Public Law 105-285, Section 674 authorizes the Secretary to use one and one-half of one percent of the amount appropriated to be reserved for corrective action, training, technical assistance, planning, evaluation, and data collection activities related to programs or projects carried out under this subtitle. Such activities may be carried out through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements with eligible entities or with organizations or associations whose membership is composed of eligible entities or agencies that administer programs for eligible entities. One-half of one percent of the amount appropriated is apportioned on the basis of need among Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Northern and Mariana Islands. Of the remaining amount each State, (excluding the above, but including the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) is allotted an amount which bears the same ratio as the amount received by the State for fiscal year 1981 under Section 221 of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 bore to the total amount received by all States for fiscal year 1981 under Section 221. However, if the appropriation exceeds $345,000,000 after the amount necessary for purposes of discretionary funding under 680 and the one-half of one percent set aside for territories and insular areas under section 675(A) are determined, no State receives less than one-half of one percent of the amount appropriated. This program has no matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Entitlement amounts are for a specific fiscal year and the grant funds allotted to the State will be awarded in accordance with apportionment of funds from the Office of Management and Budget. Amounts unobligated by the State at the end of a fiscal year remain available for obligation during the succeeding fiscal year.

Post Assistance Requirements


States must prepare and submit to the Secretary an Annual Report on the measured performance of the State and the eligible entities in the State.

Reports shall include an accounting of the expenditure of funds received under the CSBG Program, including administrative costs incurred by the State and eligible entities and funds spent on direct delivery of local services, information on the number of and characteristics of clients served and a summary description of the training and technical assistance offered by the State.

The Annual Report is due on March 31 each year.

States are required to submit annual financial status reports, SF-269A's, 90 days after the end the fiscal year, i.e., December 30, each year.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised June 27, 2003)," Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations," Non-Federal entities that expend $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions of this part. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in section .215(a), but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and General Accounting Office (GAO).


States are required to keep records sufficient to permit preparation of the required reports and to permit tracing of funds to a level of expenditure adequate to insure that funds have not been spent unlawfully.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $630,414,000; FY 08 $653,800,000; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$1,019 to $55,942,793; Average $5,342,585.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

45 CFR 16, 45 CFR 74 and 45 CFR 96.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Division of State Assistance, Office of Community Services, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-9343.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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