Community Development

Community Development Documents

Announcements and Documents

  1. Notice of Public Hearing for 2019 Budget and Action Plan

  2. 2019 Action Plan and Budget

  3. Exhibit 1-citizen participation

  4. Exhibits 2-8

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

Notice of Public Hearing-2019 Budget and Action Plan.xlsx

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 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 $5,000 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

Paint Program 

Designed to assist low and moderate-income homeowners address slum and blight. The objective is to provide enough paint and supplies for a volunteer crew to paint the exterior of the owner-occupied structure. 

By using volunteer labor, the Program promotes a sense of community. The Paint Program provides up to $1,000 in paint and supplies ( no labor) to qualified homeowners to paint the exterior of their home. 

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must own and occupy the structure

  • Total gross household income must be 50% or below HUD specified area median income limits

  • Must live in the City limits of Gadsden

Ineligible Persons

  • City employees in a policy-making or decision-making position with respect to the Program

  • Public Officials or members of a governing body who exercise functions or responsibilities with respect to the Program

  • Persons with a current CDBG loan or those who have received assistance through the CDBG Program within the past 5 years


  • The program is presented to local service groups as an option for their volunteer time.

  • Each paint crew locates a homeowner who will apply for the Program or a homeowner that has applied locates a crew how is willing to paint their home

  • Initial interview by Community Development staff is conducted with the homeowner and test is done for presence of lead-based paint

  • Volunteer paint crew meets with the Community Development staff for Renovation, Repair and Paint training for lead-safe work practices and to review safe painting procedures

  • Paint colors are selected by the homeowner

  • Community Development staff signs for the paint and supplies

  • Volunteer crew picks up the supplies

  • Volunteer crew and Community Development staff meet at homeowner’s property for set-up

  • Volunteer crew performs work

  • Community Development staff inspect work prior to clean-up

  • Follow-up interview with homeowner is conducted