The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) is the state oversight agency for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funds made available through this grant are used to support activities that alleviate poverty for low-income families and individuals at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level. Indiana receives approximately $9 million annually. By regulation, 90 percent of the funds are allocated to private nonprofits or local units of government that provide self-sufficiency programs. In Indiana, funds are allocated to the state’s 22 Community Action Agencies (CAA). According to federal regulations, the state and the CAAs are required to conduct a community needs assessment. The goals of the community needs assessment are to identify the current state of low-income families and to identify gaps in services for low-income families within local communities.
The data required to support this report come from three groups of data: qualitative data gathered from six regional focus groups with stakeholders (one urban and one rural in each of the three regions—north, central, and south); quantitative data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Indiana Business Research Center, Uniform Crime Reporting Data, Indiana Methamphetamine Investigation System, Indiana Department of Financial Institutions, and the Indiana Community Services Block Grant Data; and several surveys conducted at all CAA locations.