Block Grant application time reduced by more than 50%

Mixed-use buildings on a desert hillside
Dept of Housing
Problem Statement

The Arizona Department of Housing receives 40-50 Community Development Block Grant applications each year from small cities and counties (serving populations under 50,000). These rural Arizona governments are applying for approximately $10 million in federal grants for a wide range of infrastructure, community and housing needs. The time required for the review of CDBG applications was 90 days, and too much time was spent requesting missing information from applicants or seeking clarifications.

Action Taken

The Community Development and Revitalization team used problem-solving techniques to remove ambiguities and eliminate redundancies in the Community Development Block Grant application. Through the process, the application document size was reduced from eight pages to five, and many of the previously required but unnecessary document attachments were eliminated. Additionally, the format of the application was changed to a fillable form that automatically calculates the budget pages and makes it easier for applicants to complete.

Results & Impact

Community Development and Revitalization staff reduced the review time for CDBG applications from 90 days to 30 days by condensing the application, eliminating redundant questions and enhancing the format to do automatic calculations.

"Community Development Block Grants support a wide range of community needs in 12 rural Arizona counties,  including construction or renovation of water and waste infrastructure, construction or improvements of community health and social services centers, affordable housing rehabilitation and more.