Community Development

Homeless Coalition of Northeast Alabama (HCNEA)  - The City of Gadsden is the lead agency and collaborative applicant for HCNEA which is a group of non-profit agencies, local governments, and others that provide services to homeless persons or those at-risk of homelessness in Gadsden (Etowah County), Anniston (Calhoun County), DeKalb County, and Cherokee County.  For assistance, call United Way 211 or 256-549-4532.

Services & Responsibilities

The Community Development Department is committed to improving the community by providing decent, affordable housing, a suitable living environment, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for those persons of low to moderate income. 


  • Managing the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)

  • Managing the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)

  • Managing the HUD Continuum of Care Planning Grant

  • Administration of the Homeless Management Information System for the HUD Continuum of Care which covers Etowah, Calhoun, DeKalb, and Cherokee counties

  • Provide assistance and coordinate services for homeless persons within the four county area covered by the HUD Continuum of Care

  • Promoting economic opportunities for the residents of the City of Gadsden

  • Coordinating activities and education relating to the Fair Housing Act

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program 

The CDBG program is an important tool for allowing the City of Gadsden to tackle serious challenges facing the community and providing the means to improve the quality of life. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards CDBG to entitlement communities to carry out a wide range of activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, providing decent affordable housing, providing improved community facilities and services, and economic development. Activities must meet one of three national objectives: 

  • Benefiting low to moderate income persons

  • Elimination of slum or blight

  • Meet an urgent community need


Housing Assistance Programs

Housing Rehabilitation and Repair Program - developed to assist with limited rehabilitation and emergency repairs of housing units occupied by low and moderate income homeowners. It is designed to address health, safety, structural and deferred maintenance deficiencies. The program provides up to $4,999.99 for limited rehabilitation/emergency repairs to qualified homeowners. The term of the loan is five years and 0% interest.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants gross household income must be 80% or less of HUD specified area median income limits.

  • Reside in the City limits of Gadsden

  • Have title/deed interest in the property

  • Own and reside in the home

  • Listed as the property owner with the Etowah County Tax Assessor’s office

  • No reverse mortgage on the home

  • May not own rental, vacation or secondary property

  • Be willing to execute an Owner/Lender Agreement with the City of Gadsden

  • Be willing to assume responsibility for a mortgage and execute a promissory note to the City of Gadsden for the amount of CDBG funds spent on the home

  • Repair work must meet program guidelines


  • Call the Community Development Department at 256-549-4532 to apply

  • Pre-application is completed by telephone by Community Development staff

  • Ownership and eligibility is verified

  • Rehab/repair needs are evaluated

  • Full application is completed

  • Work write-up is prepared and a pre-construction conference with contractors is held

  • Contract is awarded and closing documents are executed

  • Work is completed, with periodic inspections by Community Development staff

  • Final inspection is held and work is accepted/approved by homeowner and City Inspector before contractor is paid