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The Distressed Cities and Persistent Poverty Technical Assistance (DCTA) program is designed to build capacity of local governments experiencing economic distress and assist local governments and their nonprofit partners in alleviating persistent poverty in specific areas (census tracts). Through DCTA, HUD provides technical assistance (TA) directly to entities serving smaller communities with populations under 50,000.
DCTA considers good fiscal health, strong financial performance, and effective financial management practices to be the foundation for successful implementation of projects and progression towards goals. Therefore, these are central components of the TA offered through this program.
Other possible areas of TA under the DCTA program include governance and management, leadership development, data and research, building partnerships, community engagement, strategic planning, plan implementation, and program evaluation. This list is not exhaustive. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need TA in another area and are unsure if it fits within the scope of the DCTA program.
Most DCTA recipients work on building capacity in the areas listed above by identifying a priority challenge or opportunity they would like to make progress on. See examples below.
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Challenge or Opportunity
Identified by recipient (local government)
TA Provider assesses capacity in specific areas based on the identified challenge or opportunity
Tailored capacity building support is provided to pursue the opportunity or address the challenge
A goal the recipient is working towards with the TA
Opportunity: state CDBG-DR funds will be made available through a competitive process
Local government receives CDBG-DR funds for identified project.
Challenge: chronic disinvestment in downtown
Establish a coalition of local businesses and organizations invested in improving downtown.
Secure funding for main street store façade restoration.
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Category 1: Economically Distressed
Units of general local government (UGLGs or local governments) serving populations under 50,000 that are economically distressed are eligible to receive capacity building technical assistance through HUD’s Distressed Cities and Persistent Poverty Technical Assistance (DCTA) Program.
- Economically Distressed: Local governments with an average unemployment rate of 9 percent or more over the past three years using American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates; a poverty rate of 20 percent or more among individuals not enrolled in higher education as of the most recent ACS 5-year estimates, OR a population decline of 5 percent or more between the 2010 Decennial Census and most recent ACS 5-Year estimates.
Category 2: Experiencing Persistent Poverty
Units of general local government (UGLGs or local governments) serving populations under 50,000 with one or more census tracts experiencing persistent poverty are eligible to receive capacity building technical assistance through HUD’s Distressed Cities and Persistent Poverty Technical Assistance (DCTA) Program.
- Persistent Poverty: A census tract with a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher over the past 30 years.
**Please note Categories 1 and 2 are not mutually exclusive. **
**Category 2 is new to the DCTA Program. If you are only eligible under Category 2, there may be a delay in starting your engagement while we onboard TA provider(s). **
Click on the photo below to access the interactive map showing eligible governments. If you believe your local government is eligible but is not noted as such on this map, please contact email@example.com.
For information on the methodology used to create this eligibility map, please see FAQs 1-4.
Request Technical Assistance
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The DCTA program operates on a demand-response system, meaning there is no deadline for requesting technical assistance through this program. However, requesting assistance early is highly encouraged to better ensure HUD will be able to approve your request. This program has limited capacity and may not be able to approve all requests.
Beginning in HUD fiscal year 2022, local governments will have the opportunity to submit their technical assistance request in partnership with other local government(s) or nonprofit organization(s). The local government submitting the request will be the lead entity for the technical assistance engagement. However, other local government(s) or nonprofit organization(s) may also receive direct technical assistance to support and complement the work with the lead local government. If you are unsure if this approach is appropriate for your local government and community needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If this approach fits your needs and circumstances, please note this in your request. You will be prompted to provide the name of the other local government(s) nonprofit organization(s) and your primary points of contact at these entities.
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Content current as of August 18, 2021
Guidance which enables recipients to overcome a lack of specific skills or knowledge and, by doing so, become more successful in meeting the needs of their communities. TA is the transfer of skills and knowledge to entities that may need, but do not possess, such skills and knowledge.
Current recipients of DCTA and others looking for resources for economically distressed communities, visit the DCTA HUD Exchange.
City of Banning, California
City Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
City of Blythe, California
Municipio of Cayey, Puerto Rico
Municipio of Coamo, Puerto Rico
City of Eloy, Arizona
City of Hannibal, Missouri
City of New Castle, Pennsylvania
Town of Paradise, California
City of West Memphis, Arkansas
Municipio of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
Partner nonprofit organizations must be established 501(c)3 organizations with a history of working to alleviate poverty in your jurisdiction.