Clermont County’s Strategic Community Development: A Decade of Impact through the CDBG Program

Desmond Maaytah, Community Development Administrator with Clermont Community and Economic Development (CED), provided a comprehensive update to the Board during Monday’s session about the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
The CDBG program, established under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, allocates annual grants to states, cities, and counties to foster the development of urban communities. This initiative focuses on enhancing housing, living conditions, and economic prospects for low- and moderate-income individuals through strategies tailored to the community, planning, and collaborations between government and the private sector.
A notable component of this program is the CDBG (Urban) Entitlement Program. This subset grants funds specifically to major cities, those with populations exceeding 50,000, and urban counties with populations over 200,000. The allocation of these grants is influenced by factors such as poverty and housing conditions, with a primary aim to benefit low- and moderate-income individuals or address urgent community needs. The activities funded often include neighborhood revitalization and the development of community facilities.
Since 2015, Clermont County has been designated as an urban entitlement, enabling the Board of Commissioners to choose local projects and distribute funds accordingly. This status has allowed the county to support several projects within Clermont County.
The county typically receives approximately $1 million annually in CDBG funding. Between 2015 and 2023, the board has allocated nearly $10 million, significantly impacting various community projects. Major projects funded include septic and home repair programs, which provide essential services to residents, and the C.A.S.C. Program.
A key focus for 2023 has been a sewer connection program for Newtonsville residents to help alleviate the financial burden of connecting to the new sewer system.
Subrecipient agreements for the 2023 and earlier projects, including those for the IPM Food Pantry and OSU Extension Food Science Lab, are being finalized and will be presented to the board this month.
The ongoing success of the Community Development Block Grant program in Clermont County underscores the importance of targeted investment in local communities. Through strategic planning, collaboration, and a focus on the needs of low- and moderate-income residents, the county has been able to make tangible improvements to housing, infrastructure, and essential services. As the county moves forward with new projects and initiatives, it remains committed to promoting equitable development and enhancing the overall well-being of its residents.