The Urban County Program was created in 1988 by the County of Hidalgo and thirteen (13) participating cities. The purpose of the union was to enable the County to qualify as an “Urban County” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This designation allowed the County to receive an entitlement portion of HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding based on a formula that measures population, poverty levels and quality of housing stock. This designation does not include existing entitlement communities such as McAllen, Mission, Edinburg and Pharr. These communities receive CDBG funding directly from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Urban County Program designation was issued to the County of Hidalgo as the program grantee (Entitlement Community). The County created the Urban County Program Department to administer the Community Development Block Grant Program. In 1990, a second entitlement grant was awarded to Hidalgo County known as the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG). The ESG is a grant that provides funding to organizations assisting homeless individuals and families. Then in 1992, the County received another entitlement allocation known as the HOME Investment Partnership Grant for Housing Rehabilitation and Reconstruction.
UCP is currently within its 2016 program year which started on July 1, 2016 and will end on June 30, 2017.
UCP’s 2016 allocation is as follows:
$ 7,226,312 CDBG
$ 1,656,174 HOME
$ 658,339 ESG
Currently, UCPs jurisdiction covers 18 participating cities (Alamo, Alton, Donna, Edcouch, Elsa, Granjeno, Hidalgo, La Joya, La Villa, Mercedes, Palmhurst, Palmview, Penitas, Progreso, Progreso Lakes, San Juan, Sullivan City, Weslaco) and the four (4) County Precincts.