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Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

This program awards grants to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to address community development needs in their localities.

The HBCU Program helps HBCUs expand their role and effectiveness in helping their communities with neighborhood revitalization, housing, and economic development. HUD views HBCUs as key partners in rebuilding America's neighborhoods, and annually invites HBCUs to compete for funds to assist in revitalization efforts. While the education of African American youth is their primary mission, HBCUs play many other important roles in the nation, such as serving as economic anchors to their communities. In 1994 HUD established a similar program called Community Outreach Partnership Centers, which is open to colleges and universities nationwide

Type of Assistance:
HBCU grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

Eligible Grantees:
Only the 104 HBCUs designated by the U.S. Department of Education in 34 CFR 608.2 (in accordance with that Department's responsibilities under Executive Order 12677, dated April 28, 1989) are eligible for funding under the HBCU Program.

Eligible Customers:
The HBCU program primarily benefits low- and moderate-income persons who are residents of the community in which the HBCU is located. ("Low income" is generally defined as earning up to 80 percent of the area median income, adjusted by family size).

Eligible Activities:
Examples of activities that generally can be carried out with HBCU program funds include: purchasing property; clearing land or demolishing buildings; rehabilitating homes and businesses; providing direct homeownership assistance to low- and moderate-income persons; special economic development activities (described at 24 CFR 570.203); eligible public services; and establishment of a Community Development Corporation to undertake eligible activities. Activities must meet both a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program national objective and the CDBG eligibility requirements. In addition, HBCUs must obtain a letter from the Chief Executive Officer of the unit of general local government in which they propose to conduct activities, certifying that the activities are consist with the Consolidated Plan or other officially approved Comprehensive Plan of the jurisdiction to be served.

HUD publishes a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register for the HBCU Program. Applicants must submit specific information about the project(s) they propose to undertake. After HUD makes conditional selections, applicants must then submit additional information.

Technical Guidance:
The HBCU Grant is one of several "special purpose grants" for which CDBG funds are set aside each year. It is authorized under Section 107(b)(3) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 as amended. It is governed by regulations contained in 24 CFR 570.400, 570.404 and 24 CFR Part 570, subparts A, C, J, K and O, as amended, revised or updated. These regulations, program notices, and other relevant technical information on the program are available electronically through HUDCLIPS. HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) administers the program. Contact: Office of Grant Programs, 451 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20410, (202) 708-1590. Hearing impaired users may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1 (800) 877-8339. Community Connections has information on CDBG technical assistance, providers, and events relevant to HBCU grantees and partners.

For More Information:
The nearest HUD field office.

Success Stories:
HUD publishes two volumes of University-Community Partnerships: Current Practices (Office of Policy Development and Research, 1995 and 1996). The volumes profile the many different ways that HBCUs and other schools are helping communities and their residents. Contact HUDUSER 1 (800) 245-2691 for a copy.