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Community Development Block Grant


The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program administered by the State of Ohio Department of Development provides Portsmouth with an annual direct grant, which we can use to revitalize neighborhoods, expand affordable housing and economic opportunities, and/or improve community facilities and services, principally to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.


The primary statutory objective of the CDBG program is to develop viable communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low- and moderate-income.

The CDBG program is an important financial tool for helping the City of Portsmouth tackle serious challenges facing our community. Using tools such as the City’s Business and Housing Revolving Loan Funds, our Department is able to assist local businesses and agencies in benefitting low- and moderate-income persons in our community.




Low- and moderate-income persons (generally defined as members of a family earning no more than 80% of the area median income) benefit most directly and most often from CDBG-funded activities. Portsmouth must use at least 70% of CDBG funds for activities that principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons.


Portsmouth may use CDBG funds for activities that include (but are not limited to):

  • Reconstructing or rehabilitating housing and other property. From homeless shelters to single-family homes and from playgrounds to shopping centers, CDBG can enable us to improve properties that have become less usable, whether due to age, neglect, natural disaster, or changing needs. New construction of housing is allowed only in certain circumstances.
  • Building public facilities and improvements, such as streets, sidewalks, sewers, water systems, community and senior citizen centers, and recreational facilities.
  • Assisting for-profit businesses for special economic development activities. Such projects might include micro-enterprise loans to low-income entrepreneurs, assembling land to attract new industry, or business expansion loans to help retain existing businesses that employ low-income workers.
  • Providing public services for youths, seniors, or the disabled. These might include day care centers, youth services, meals on wheels for the elderly, health care facilities, transportation, or counseling.
  • Paying for planning and administrative expenses, such as costs related to developing a Consolidated Plan and managing CDBG funds.


Since 1974, CDBG has been the backbone of improvement efforts in Portsmouth, providing a flexible source of annual grant funds that we, with the participation of local citizens, can devote to the activities that best serve our development priorities.

Projects must:

  • Benefit low- and moderate-income persons
  • Prevent or eliminate slums or blight
  • Meet other urgent community development needs

As one of the nation’s largest federal grant programs, the CDBG program provides assistance to almost 1,000 of the largest localities in the country. In Portsmouth, the impact of CDBG-funded projects can be seen in the housing stock, business environment, streets, and public facilities.

Type of Assistance


Each year, the grant funds available for Portsmouth are allocated according to relative need on the basis of the higher of two formulas:

  • First Formula – Considers the presence of overcrowded housing in the locality, its population, and its poverty rate
  • Second Formula – Uses housing age, population growth lag, and poverty rate
Additional Information

For more information, please contact the Community Development Department by email or by calling (740) 354-5673.