Urban Counties
What are Urban Counties?

Counties within a metropolitan area that have met a population threshold to qualify to directly receive Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. In general, the population threshold is 200,000, and it must exclude the population in the county’s metropolitan cities. A county that has a minimum population of 200,000 may also qualify as an Urban County if its unincorporated areas and participating units of general local government (UGLGs), in total, contain the majority of low and moderate income residents in the county (called the “preponderance test”).

Urban Counties are entitlement communities under the CDBG Entitlement Program, and must be qualified by HUD every three years in accordance with Section 102(d) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (HCDA) (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) and 24 CFR § 570.307(d) of the CDBG regulations.

How many Urban Counties are there?

There are currently 195 Urban Counties.

What HUD programs do Urban Counties administer?
Three HUD programs apply in Urban Counties:
  1. CDBG Entitlement Program
  2. HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program (if county receives HOME funding)
  3. Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) Program (if county receives ESG funding)
How do Urban Counties work?

In general, Urban Counties function the same as Metropolitan Cities, the other type of CDBG entitlement community. Two key differences are: 1) Urban Counties operate at a larger geographic scale (county-wide) and 2) Urban Counties are made up of the county government itself, its unincorporated areas, and units of general local government (UGLGs) located in the county that choose to participate in the Urban County.

Urban Counties may carry out community development and housing assistance activities in unincorporated areas of the county and in participating UGLGs (by executing a “cooperation agreement” with UGLGs).

Urban Counties may choose to award CDBG funds to participating UGLGs to independently carry out eligible activities in their UGLG or carry out the activity on behalf of the UGLG. As an entitlement grantee, Urban Counties have all the rights and responsibilities for administering their CDBG grant according to the HCDA of 1974 and CDBG regulations at 24 CFR § 570.501(b).

FY 2024 Urban County Lists (Excel Spreadsheets)
  1. All Currently Qualified Urban Counties.xlsx
  2. Urban Counties Requalifying in FY 2024.xlsx
  3. Urban Counties Requalifying in FY 2025.xlsx
  4. Urban Counties Requalifying in FY 2026.xlsx
  5. Counties Qualified through FY 2025 or FY 2026 Containing Nonparticipating UGLGs.xlsx
  6. Counties that Could Qualify if Entitlement Cities Relinquished Entitlement Status.xlsx
  7. Counties Previously Determined Eligible but NOT Accepting Urban County Status.xlsx
Metropolitan Cities in Joint Agreements with an Urban County (Excel Spreadsheet)


NOTE: Joint Agreements are legal agreements between an Urban County and a Metropolitan City in the Urban County. A joint agreement allows an Urban County to manage and administer the Metropolitan City’s CDBG grant, in addition to the county’s own CDBG grant.

Where can I learn more?
Who can I contact with questions?

Contact Gloria Coates at gloria.l.coates@hud.gov or 202-402-2184. Ms. Coates is a Senior CPD Specialist in the Entitlement Communities Division at HUD Headquarters.



Content current as of May 8, 2024.