Grantees should remember that the prohibition on the use of CDBG funds in conjunction with eminent domain remains in place. This prohibition is not in the Housing and Community Development Act, but is contained in each year’s HUD Appropriations Act. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (as signed by the President on Jan. 17, 2014) extended the existing eminent domain prohibition:
SEC. 407. No funds in this Act may be used to support any Federal, State, or local projects that seek to use the power of eminent domain, unless eminent domain is employed only for a public use: Provided, That for purposes of this section, public use shall not be construed to include economic development that primarily benefits private entities: Provided further, That any use of funds for mass transit, railroad, airport, seaport or highway projects as well as utility projects which benefit or serve the general public (including energy-related, communication-related, water-related and wastewater-related infrastructure), other structures designated for use by the general public or which have other common-carrier or public-utility functions that serve the general public and are subject to regulation and oversight by the government, and projects for the removal of an immediate threat to public health and safety or brownsfield as defined in the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownsfield Revitalization Act (Public Law 107–118) shall be considered a public use for purposes of eminent domain.