Housing Grants

Montana's CDBG Housing grants help local governments fund new construction or rehabilitation of single-family or multi-family housing projects that benefit low- to moderate-income (LMI) Montanans, i.e. households earning less than 80% of the area median income. CDBG offers two distinct types of housing grants, the annual CDBG Competitive Housing grant and the open, CDBG Noncompetitive Housing grant.

CDBG Affordable Housing Development and Rehabilitation Grants

This grant is intended for construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing projects. Typically these housing projects are multi-family rental or single family development projects in which CDBG fills a funding gap and the maximum grant amount is $450,000. Annual applications for the CDBG Housing grants are due at the same time as the Community and Public Facility grant applications.

CDBG Housing Stabilization Program (HSP) Grants

Successful applicants will qualify to access the CDBG HSP pool of funds for a period of five years. During that time, local governments are eligible to receive funds for construction or rehabilitation of owner-occupied or rental units that benefit low- to moderate-income households. There is no maximum grant amount and funds will be allocated based on the individual level of need and scope of project.

Eligible Projects

The activities that are eligible for funding under Montana's CDBG Program are limited to those set out by Congress in Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.

CDBG Affordable Housing Development and Rehabilitation Grants

The following summarizes the major categories of assistance for the CDBG Affordable Housing and Rehabilitation Grants:
  • New construction of multi-family housing or multiple single family housing development;
  • Rehabilitation of multi-family rental housing;
  • Temporary housing facilities such as homeless shelters or domestic violence shelters; and
  • Neighborhood revitalization and renewal activities such as improvements to sidewalks, street lighting, or neighborhood playgrounds.

These projects may include the following activities:

  • Rehabilitate substandard housing;
  • Support construction of new, permanent housing;
  • Finance or subsidize the construction of new permanent, residential units;
  • Site improvements or provision of public facilities to be used or sold for new housing;
  • Demolition of vacant, deteriorated housing units with the intent of making the site available for new construction;
  • Acquiring sites for use or resale for new housing, and converting existing nonresidential structures for residential use; and
  • Neighborhood renewal activities such as cleaning up junk and debris or improving or constructing sidewalks, streets, or neighborhood parks.

CDBG Housing Stabilization Program (HSP) Grants

The following summarizes the major categories of assistance for the CDBG HSP Grants:

  • Rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes and residential properties determined to have critical health and safety deficiencies;
  • New construction of infill development residential properties on vacant lots; and
  • Demolition of blighted structures that results in replacement of housing on a one-for-one basis.

Requirements for eligible housing units:

  • All housing units proposed for rehabilitation must have an inspection completed by a professional to determine the specific health and safety deficiencies and a report must be provided to Commerce;
  • All housing units proposed for rehabilitation must have an inspection completed to determine the ADA improvements needed, if applicable;
  • All housing units that are proposed for rehabilitation cannot exceed the median home price for the project area;
  • All proposed rehabilitation work cannot exceed either:
    • The median home price for the project area, or
    • The value of the property, after work has been completed based on an appraisal at the completion of the project.




Eligible Applicants

Under federal law, eligible applicants are limited to general-purpose local government, i.e. counties, incorporated cities and towns, and consolidated city-county governments. Among municipalities, only Billings, Great Falls, and Missoula are ineligible to apply to the State CDBG Program because they receive CDBG funds from a separate HUD allocation for communities with populations over 50,000. Montana's Indian tribes also receive CDBG funds from a separate HUD CDBG Program and are not eligible to apply to the State program.

A general-purpose local government must apply on behalf of special purpose agencies or organizations such as:

  • Local economic development corporations;
  • Housing Authorities;
  • Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs);
  • Water or sewer districts; and
  • Private and nonprofit organizations.

Application Process

CDBG Housing Stabilization Program (HSP) Grants

Applications to access the available pool of funds may be submitted at any time and must contain responses and supporting documentation commensurate with the current CDBG HSP Guidelines. The process and procedures outlined in these guidelines to complete critical health and safety improvements to bolster the community's affordable housing stock on a house-by-house basis for a five year period as CDBG funds are available. Once notified of their ability to access these funds, local governments may identify specific housing activities and make a funding proposal to the Department according to the process set forth in the Grant Administration Manual. 

CDBG Affordable Housing Development and Rehabilitation Applications

The application guidelines are formally adopted through the State of Montana Administrative Rulemaking process during which the public has an opportunity to comment on draft guidelines. Public comments will be considered before the final version is adopted. 

The final CDBG Application Guidelines consist of ranking criteria with specific questions requiring narrative responses and identify supporting documentation that will improve the strength of the application. In order to avoid unnecessary duplication, the applicant can reference other pertinent portions of the application or appendices in the narrative responses to the criteria. However, the applicant should not reference another portion of the application, such as the PAR, without including a narrative statement that provides at least a summary of what is being referenced. 

Each application will be evaluated according to each CDBG ranking criteria and will receive points depending upon its overall response to each criterion, relative to local capacity and resources and in comparison with the other applications submitted. Failure to respond to a criterion or to comply with a pertinent and important application requirement may result in no points being awarded for that criterion. For ease of reference, any documentation or exhibits related to the applicant's response to a CDBG ranking criterion should be placed in the application immediately following the applicant's narrative response to that criterion. 

One hard copy and one electronic copy (either on compact disc or submitted through the State of Montana File Transfer Service at DOCCDDFTS@mt.gov [as State Group]) of the CDBG application and two hard copies of the PAR or PER (as applicable) must be postmarked or delivered  to the Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Ave, Helena MT, 59620 on or before the application due date. Electronic copies of CDBG applications submitted on portable USB drives will not be accepted. 

Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified once the final funding decision is made. All applicants will have the opportunity to meet with CDBG staff and discuss their application’s success and opportunities for improvement. These meetings are intended to help successful applicants identify areas of improvement for future CDBG applications and unsuccessful applicants prepare for resubmission the following year.


Application Forms

2020 CDBG Affordable Housing Development and Rehabilitation Application & Guidelines (PDF) (Word)

Grant Amount: Up to $450,000
No Match Required


Documenting Benefit to Low and Moderate Income Persons Handbook (PDF) 


Updated July 2020

Local governments are responsible for carryout project activities commensurate with the project application and complying with all applicable state, federal, and local requirements. Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC) is committed to working closely with grantees and their partners to complete CDBG-assisted projects that successfully meet local needs and complies with program requirements.  

Certain federal regulations and policies govern the use of CDBG funds, and CDBG-assisted project must also comply with state law and local ordinances and policies. No two CDBG-assisted projects are exactly alike and CDBG staff will provide technical assistance throughout the course of a project to help grantees identify, understand, and fulfill CDBG requirements applicable to your project. CDBG staff are equipped with the knowledge, resources, and experience to effectively navigate CDBG grant administration requirements and help you successfully complete your project. 

In addition to CDBG staff, MDOC publications such as the Grant Administration Manual and Toolkit are available to help grant administrators document every step of the project. The Grant Administration Manual helps grant administrators understand the various state and federal requirements with which CDBG-assisted projects must comply. The Manual is designed to walk grant administrators through each step in the life of a CDBG project, from notice of grant award to final closeout, and its organization mirrors the lifecycle of most projects. The Toolkit is a compilation of required forms and processes, suggestions, and best practices we have developed since the State CDBG Program began in 1982.  

CDBG Affordable Housing Development and Rehabilitation Project Lifespan and Deadlines

Funded Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization projects must be completed within two (2) years of the formal notice of award. For example, a community facility project awarded October 1, 2020 must be completed by October 1, 2022. The Department, in its sole discretion, may grant an extension if the project is near completion but will not be fully completed by the completion date and the grant recipient can demonstrate a good faith effort to complete the project on time and within the original budget. Additionally, each project is expected to produce the documentation necessary to execute a contract with the Department within three (3) months of the formal notice of award. Once the contract is executed, each project is expected to submit a Request for Reimbursement once every six (6) months and provide accomplishment data within two and one half years of contract execution. 

CDBG Housing Stabilization Program Lifespan and Deadlines

Successful applicants will be eligible to access the available pool of funds for a period of five (5) years commencing with the formal notice of award. Each activity undertaken during that five period is expected to take no more than nine (9) months to complete. This nine month time period starts when funds for the specific activity are committed by the Department.

The CDBG/NSP Grant Administration Manual provides guidance for both the CDBG and the NSP Program. NSP grantees are encouraged to use the NSP website to access the specific NSP guidance in Chapter 15 which provides NSP specific forms and exhibits. If you need assistance accessing the manual or need further assistance, please contact any CDD staff at DOCCDD@mt.gov.

These documents are only available to be viewed and printed from the Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this reader, click here to download a free version. If you receive errors when opening pdf files make sure you have the latest version of Acrobat Reader or contact CDD. To download all the files you must have WinZip or similar file compression software. Download a free WinZip evaluation version here.

CDBG/NSP Grant Administration Manual:

Introduction (PDF)

Table of Contents (PDF)


Chapter 1: Project Start-Up

Chapter 2: Environmental Review

Chapter 3: Procurement

Chapter 4: Financial Management 

Chapter 5: Civil Rights

Chapter 6: Labor Standards

Chapter 7: Acquisition and Relocation

Chapter 8: Economic Development

Chapter 9: Construction Management

Chapter 10: Non-Competitive Housing Rehabilitation

Chapter 11: Project Monitoring

Chapter 12: Project Closeout

Chapter 13: Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)