Quality | Creativity | Experience
Community Development and Planning Services
Community Opportunities Group, Inc. (COG) was founded in 1979 to meet the housing and community development needs of cities and towns across New England. For many years, we specialized in the HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and built our reputation by helping clients design, fund and implement projects that improved the quality of life for people who lived and worked in their communities. Owing to our years of experience and the varied composition of our client base – from major cities in the Northeast to the villages of Berkshire County, Connecticut, and New Hampshire – we became recognized experts in packaging CDBG with other funding sources, and we helped communities reach goals that previously seemed unattainable.
As one of COG’s core service areas, we are proficient in all aspects of federal grant administration: recordkeeping and reporting, compliance monitoring, financial management, environmental review, program design and programmatic requirements, and cross-cutting federal requirements. Further, COG is serving as grant manager for municipalities that received funding from CDBG-R (Recovery) and CDBG-CV (Covid). As such, we are knowledgeable of the additional reporting and compliance requirements that accompany ARRA funds.
COG has also provided technical assistance and troubleshooting services to grantees with moderate to serious monitoring findings. Over the years, we have been asked by local government grantees, or referred by state agencies and HUD to conduct detailed audits of program records, document statutory and regulatory violations, develop plans to resolve findings, and provide training for local staff and officials to prevent a recurrence of grant management problems.
COG’s success in the housing and community development field enabled us to expand the firm’s professional horizons. We have managed numerous public construction projects such as libraries, senior centers, parks, recreational facilities, elderly housing, neighborhood infrastructure and historic building restoration. We also offer technical assistance in downtown revitalization, housing development and regulatory compliance, and capacity-building services to help small non-profit organizations develop the wherewithal to grow.
Complete Grant Administration And Project Management Services
COG’s experience and roles in CDBG and housing are unlike those of many consultants in that we are directly responsible for activity implementation and grant administration daily. Many of our non-Entitlement client’s contract with COG for complete grant administration and project management services. This experience ensures that we are current with policy, regulatory and compliance requirements. COG’s experience in CDBG- and other publicly funded housing projects also provides a further strength in our ability to assist clients in addressing housing goals. We have had responsibilities for carrying out a range of housing initiatives using CDBG – to support new housing development (rental and ownership), public housing modernization, (re)development of special needs housing, first time-homeownership programs, and rehabilitation of existing single- and multi-family housing.
The firm has been involved in these types of projects continuously since it was established more than forty-three years ago. During this time, we have managed scores of local and regional housing rehabilitation programs for municipal clients and non-profits, providing a full array of services, from program development, to outreach and marketing, to case processing and underwriting to technical rehabilitation specialist services. These responsibilities for assisting in improving approximately 2,000 housing units have meant that we have unparalleled experience, knowledge, and insight. In short, we have direct experience in applying the myriad of requirements that accompany public funding in carrying out these programs.
Accessible Public Buildings, Senior Centers, Parks And Playgrounds, Neighborhood Infrastructure, Clerk Of The Works Services, Designer Selection, Public Bidding, Contractor Selection & Contract Compliance.
Community Facilities, Affordable Housing Development, Reuse/redevelopment Projects, Neighborhood Revitalization, Downtown Redevelopment, Community Economic Development, Project Financing, Grant Applications, Grant Administration and Regulatory Compliance.