Prohibition on Use of Community Development Block Grant Assistance for Job-Pirating Activities
On December 23, 2005, HUD published an interim rule implementing certain statutory changes by revising HUD's regulations for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Specifically, the interim rule prohibited state and local governments from using CDBG funds for ``job-pirating'' activities that are likely to result in significant job loss. The rule also applied to section 108 loan guarantees and the use of Brownfields Economic Development Initiative and Economic Development Initiative funds with section 108 loan guarantees and CDBG funding. This final rule follows publication of the December 23, 2005, interim rule, and makes no changes at this final rule stage.
Community Development Block Grant Program; Revision of CDBG Eligibility and National Objective Regulations
This final rule revises the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program regulations to clarify the eligibility of brownfields cleanup, development, or redevelopment within existing program eligibility categories. In addition, this final rule makes changes to CDBG national objectives that relate to brownfields and clarifies regulatory language. The final rule expands the ``slums or blight'' national objective criteria to include known and suspected environmental contamination, as well as economic disinvestment, as blighting influences. The rule also expands the definition of ``clearance'' to include remediation of known or suspected environmental contamination. The rule requires grantees to establish definitions of blighting influences and to retain records to support those definitions. In addition, an area slums or blight designation is required to be redetermined every 10 years for continued qualification. The regulatory amendments include the abatement of asbestos hazards and lead-based paint hazard evaluation and reduction as eligible rehabilitation activities. The final rule eliminates duplicative text concerning the treatment of lead-based paint hazards. Finally, the final rule requires that acquisition or relocation, if undertaken to address slums or blight on a spot basis, must be followed by other eligible activities that eliminate specific conditions of blight or physical decay. The final rule follows publication of a July 9, 2004, proposed rule and takes into consideration the public comments received on the proposed rule. On October 22, 1996, the Department published an interim rule, ``Community Development Block Grant Program for States; Community Revitalization Strategy Requirements and Miscellaneous Technical Amendments.'' This rule also makes final, with no changes, the provisions of that rule, which have been in effect for states on an interim basis since November 21, 1996.