HPD Special Issue on the Community Development Block Grant Program Call for Abstracts

Given that 2014 is the 40th anniversary of the CDBG program, this is an opportune time to both take stock of the program’s evolution, accomplishments, shortcomings, and potential and propose program changes to better address the needs of low- and moderate-income communities in the 21st century. To facilitate this endeavor, Housing Policy Debate is organizing a special issue on the CDBG program at 40 to be guest edited by Bill Rohe of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and George Galster of Wayne State University.

The guest editors are soliciting abstracts of papers on any aspect of the CDBG program. The abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors, who will invite selected proposers to develop full papers, which will then be submitted to Housing Policy Debate’s normal peer review process. The following is a list of possible topics, although abstracts on other CDBG topics are also welcome:

  • How well is the CDBG program targeted to the communities with the greatest need for revitalization, and how could that targeting be improved by changing the allocation formula?
  • How are funds allocated at the local level? Is it being done fairly? To what extent is it top-down or bottom-up? What factors influence the degree of citizen engagement? What creative models of citizen engagement have been effected?
  • What factors determine the degree to which CDBG spending leads to sustainable neighborhood improvements? How important is targeting? How important is the choice of neighborhoods? To what extent are communities adopting a triage perspective?
  • What role do national and/or local politics play in the allocation and use of CDBG funds?
  • To what extent are CDBG expenditures consistent with local consolidated plans?
  • To what extent are CDBG investments used to leverage other investments?
  • For what purposes has the Section 108 provision of the CDBG program been used, and how successful have those investments been?
  • What are the major lessons that can be drawn from 40 years of experience with the CDBG program?
  • Given the broad range of activities supported with CDBG funds, how can program impacts be measured?
  • What can be done to increase the capacities of local jurisdictions to use CDBG funds effectively?
  • How has the CDBG program been used to pursue local economic development effectively?
  • Is there any evidence that CDBG funds are substituted for local funds?
  • To what extent do recipients recycle CDBG funds? What impacts the degree of recycling?
  • How important has the CDBG program been in supporting community development corporations and other local nonprofit organizations? How have these sub recipients used the pass-through funds?

Papers may rely on literature reviews, qualitative studies, and/or quantitative analysis. Please submit a blinded and an unblinded version of your abstract to housingpolicydebate@gmail.com by January 31, 2013.

HPD Call for Abstracts

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About Tom Sanchez

Professor, Urban Affairs & Planning Program School of Public and International Affairs College of Architecture and Urban Studies Virginia Tech
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