FY 1998 SuperNOFA Guidebook

What Is a Competitive Grant Program?

A competitive grant program is one of the ways HUD provides public funding to address community problems and opportunities. Each competitive program has been created and authorized by Congress. The programs allow eligible applicants to request funding directly from HUD to carry out certain activities within certain parameters. For example, the Youthbuild program, authorized in 1992, funds nonprofit organizations, public housing agencies, and state and local governments to create and operate 2-year job training programs for disadvantaged youth. The programs teach construction and building trades skills, provide for life training and education, and actually construct housing. In addition to programs, such as Youthbuild, which fund specific strategies to directly address need, HUD�s menu of competitive grants also includes programs for technical assistance . Technical assistance programs are designed to improve the effectiveness of HUD grant programs by improving the capacity of program participants, including nonprofits, to design and implement the programs, and by providing specialized technical expertise and training to address local program issues and opportunities.

Competitive grant programs require those seeking funding to submit an application, which must compete with all other applications submitted for that particular program. Only a limited number of applicants receive funding.

Competitive grants differ from other types of HUD funding, such as formula grants or Section 8 contract renewals. Formula grants, which account for more than $11 billion in FY982, provide funding to all eligible recipients, typically State and local governments or public housing agencies, based on specific formulas that vary by program. In some cases, these programs require submission of an application or a plan, but the applications do not compete with one another for funding. Section 8 contract renewals, which account for more than $8 billion in FY98, are automatic if the entities holding the contracts choose to renew. None of HUD�s formula-based programs or Section 8 contract renewals are awarded through the NOFA or SuperNOFA processes.

2 This total includes appropriations for the Community Development Block Grant (less set-asides), HOME Invest-ment Partnerships, Public Housing Operating Subsidy, Public Housing Modernization Comprehensive Grant, Emergency Shelters Grant, Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS, and Fair Housing Assistance programs.

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Content Archived: July 19, 2012