Blight Clearance Program
The Blight Clearance Program encourages communities with blighted properties to focus on long-term community development and revitalization through improving quality of place, generating jobs, and spurring economic revitalization. Eligible projects include the removal of deteriorated or abandoned downtown buildings or vacant/unusable industrial sites.
The new program was a component of the 2018 Annual Action Plan that was accepted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in July.
BCP 2.0 applicants may request funds of up to $500,000 over a period of time. The $500,000 may be divided into multiple grants over time or may be requested all at once. However, once a grantee has received BCP awards totaling $500,000, the community will not be considered for additional BCP funding for a period of five years following the closeout date of the most recent award. For example, a community may be awarded $200,000 on 8/31/18, $150,000 on 3/31/20, and $150,000 on 7/30/21. At that point, the community would not be considered for further BCP funding until 7/30/27, five years after the closeout date of the most recent award (7/30/22).
Funding for BCP 2.0 comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program (CBDG) and is administered by OCRA. If you have any questions, please contact CDBG Program Director, Eric Ogle.
BCP 2.0 Process
Blight Clearance Program Proposal
The proposal is a draft of the application that allows OCRA to review the basic information of the project and determine if it is likely to meet a national objective and is an eligible activity before approving the submission of a full application. Proposals that are not likely to meet a national objective, or are not an eligible activity will not be approved to move forward to the full application. OCRA will also conduct a Site visit between the Proposal and Application with the community to go over details of the project, explain the rules of the grant program, provide technical assistance, and address any questions. The site visit must take place within one month of receipt of the proposal submission. If a site visit does not occur within this month, a new proposal will need to be submitted to OCRA.
Blight Clearance Program Application
BCP applications will be reviewed during ongoing monthly funding cycles. The application deadline is the 15th of each month by 4:00 p.m. in order to be considered for that month’s funding cycle. If an application is received after the 15th of the month, then it will be scored and considered for the following month’s funding cycle. Applications must be submitted within (two/three months) of the proposal submission.
Closeout and Five Year Monitoring Period
Pursuant to 24 CFR 570.489 property that has been acquired or improved in whole or in part using CDBG funds may not change the use of such property for a period of five (5) years after closeout unless they go through a change in use process. Any change in use must remain an eligible activity under CDBG. To comply with this regulation, OCRA will monitor all grants made under the Blight Clearance Program (BCP) 2.0 for the five (5) year period following closeout of a project. If the community plans to change the use of a property within that five (5) year period, they must submit a request to OCRA in writing prior to making any change and go through the change in use process. All projects changed to an ineligible activity under CDBG the grant will have to repay all or part of the grant funds.