The USDA Rural Development makes available grants to strengthen rural economic growth. Applications for the rural community development grants are accepted now and until July 25, 2017, 4 p.m. LST.
USDA RD Acting Deputy Undersecretary Roger Glendenning related, “These grants will support partnerships between community development groups and rural communities to develop essential facilities and create jobs and business opportunities.”
Rural Community Development Grants
The grants are provided under the USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative. The RCDI aims to help non-profit and community development organizations and federally recognized tribes develop and implement rural economic growth projects in low-income rural communities.
This help is coursed through qualified intermediaries – public bodies, for-profit organizations and non-profit organizations that will provide technical and financial assistance, training and capacity building to the community-based organizations.
For example, a qualified recipient may use its grant to provide sub-grantees with trainings on homeownership and minority business entrepreneurship. It may also supply technical assistance in the areas of strategic plan development, accessing alternative sources for funding like fundraising and the like.
Grants are between $50,000 and $250,000 and made available in a competitive process. Eligible uses of funds include projects for sustainable development, affordable housing, economic development, and revitalization in the rural areas.
For an area to be eligible for grant funds, it must not (i) be a town or city with more than 50,000 inhabitants and (ii) an urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to that town or city.
Given the nature of the program, applicants must have sufficient experience in the types of projects the RCDI supports. They are also required to match the funds being requested.
The RCDI accepts applications on an annual basis. As noted by Mr. Glendenning, nonprofit entities, private and governmental entities are encouraged to work together for rural community development grants.