Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for renovation and up-fitting of vacant industrial and commercial buildings for economic development purposes.  The building reuse program is designed to return vacant industrial/commercial buildings to economic use for new and/or expanding business and industry.  The ultimate goal of the Building Reuse program is to provide jobs for low and moderate-income persons (LMI).

The North Carolina Small Cities Community Development Block Program provides funds to local governments to develop viable communities, “by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income.”  The program reflects purposes of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended.  The Department of Commerce (DOC) has administrative responsibility for the CDBG program.  The Rural Economic Development Division (REDD) administers the economic development (ED) category for the Department of Commerce.  State rules related to the CDBG program are found in North Carolina Administrative Code 4 NCAC 19L and specific CDBG economic development rules are found at 4 NCAC 1K.

Eligible Applicants

In North Carolina, all counties except for Wake, Mecklenburg, and Cumberland and all municipalities except for 24 entitlement communities are eligible to apply for Small Cities CDBG funding.  The entitlement units, which receive CDBG program funds directly from HUD, include Asheville, Burlington, Cary, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Concord, Durham, Fayetteville, Gastonia, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, High Point, Jacksonville, Kannapolis, Lenoir, Morganton, New Bern, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Salisbury, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.  The Town of Holly Springs in Wake County and the Town of Linden in Cumberland County continue to be eligible for Small Cities CDBG funds, because they opted to participate in the State’s program instead of their county’s program.  Projects proposed within the corporate limits of an entitlement area are ineligible for small cities CDBG funding.

All applicants must also meet basic threshold and performance requirements for any prior CDBG grants awarded by the Rural Economic Development Division. 

Program Contacts

The following Rural Economic Development Division staff member should be contacted for questions concerning the Building Reuse program:

Valerie Fegans
Interim CDBG Program Director
North Carolina Department of Commerce
919 814 4673

Grant Limits and Basic Requirements

Building Reuse funds may be applied for at any time during the year, however the Rural Infrastructure Authority which meets six times a year must approve the application.  The Rural Economic Development Division is located in the Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington Street in Raleigh, NC. The mailing address is: Rural Economic Development Division, 4346 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4346 or by courier service at 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.

A local government applicant must propose a project in conjunction with a private for profit business that proposes to restore a vacant building to economic use resulting in the creation of permanent, full-time jobs by the project company.  A job is considered full-time if the employee works at least 1600 hours per year.  To be eligible, documentation must be provided showing the building has been vacant thirty (30) consecutive days or more prior to the date of the pre-application conference.  CDBG funds for this category are limited to a maximum of $750,000 per unit of government.  The grant amount is calculated based on $20,000 per job for eligible businesses (see chart below) and $12,000 per job for all other businesses.  To be eligible, a business must also meet all of the eligibility criteria specified in GS105-129.80.