Using CDBG Resources in Response to COVID-19


Since 1982, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has administered the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, helping local governments address critical needs, such as housing, infrastructure and economic development. Today, amidst an unprecedented public health emergency, CDBG funds continue to serve as a valuable resource, assisting eligible localities in responding to the health and economic impact of COVID-19 by supporting planning grants, open submission and urgent need recovery activities.

Particularly, DHCD remains interested in supporting communities with their COVID-19-related projects that can be implemented and deliver benefits quickly. Communities are encouraged to work with local service agencies, Continuum of Care (COC) homeless providers, health departments and other providers to identify specific local needs. The following are a few examples of projects that center upon immediate community needs, but interested applicants should examine the CDBG Funding Opportunities for COVID-19 Response overview for more information and recommendations, as well as submit a letter of interest describing the project and activities, because such examples are not all-encompassing.

  • Construction or rehab of structures to be used for shelters, testing or equipment manufacturing
  • Acquisition costs for telework/telemedicine services and costs for buildings to be used as outlined above
  • Training for healthcare workers or service industry jobs transitioning to food/pharmaceutical delivery systems
  • Job creation or business development for manufacturing of COVID-related materials, supplies or equipment (PPE)
  • Small business assistance grants/loans for communities

During the 2020 funding cycle, DHCD seeks to provide funding up to $6.55 million to assist units of local government and communities. In accordance with DHCD’s 2020 CDBG Program Design, applications can be accepted immediately, and all application information within the 2020 CDBG Program Design applies to the current COVID-19 environment.

Please reach out to Matt Weaver ( or Rachel Jordan ( for additional questions about specific program requirements, contract activities or other needed information.

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Rachel Jordan was recently featured on the Partners for Better Communities Podcast to discuss frequently asked questions, concerning how communities can use CDBG funds to respond to COVID-19. Check it out here! DHCD’s podcast features the voices of leaders and change makers across the commonwealth, exploring innovation and inspiration as local, regional and state leaders work together to create safe, affordable and prosperous communities.