United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Rural Utilities Service
03/22/21 - Midnight EST for electronic applications; 03/29/21 - 4:00 PM for paper applications.
Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, for-profits, and government agencies to strengthen low-income rural communities by providing guidance and training to eligible recipients. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding may be requested for projects to improve community facilities and housing, as well as economic and community development projects.
These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community.
Congress first authorized the RCDI in 1999 (Pub. L. 106–78, which was amended most recently by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (Pub. L. 116–6) to develop the capacity and ability of private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized Native American Tribes to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. Strengthening the recipient’s capacity in these areas will benefit the communities they serve. The RCDI structure requires the intermediary (grantee) to provide a program of financial and technical assistance to recipients. The recipients will, in turn, provide programs to their communities (beneficiaries).
The intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical assistance to one or more of the following: A private, nonprofit community-based housing and development organization, a low-income rural community or a federally recognized tribe.
Eligible Grant Purposes
Fund uses must be consistent with the RCDI purpose. A non-exclusive list of eligible grant uses includes the following:
(a) Provide technical assistance to develop recipients’ capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development, e.g., the intermediary hires a staff person to provide technical assistance to the recipient or the recipient hires a staff person, under the supervision of the intermediary, to carry out the technical assistance provided by the intermediary.
(b) Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct community development programs, e.g., homeownership education or training for business entrepreneurs.
(c) Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct development initiatives, e.g., programs that support micro-enterprise and sustainable development.
(d) Develop the capacity of recipients to increase their leveraging ability and access to alternative funding sources by providing training and staffing.
(e) Develop the capacity of recipients to provide the technical assistance component for essential community facilities projects.
(f) Assist recipients in completing pre-development requirements for housing, community facilities, or community and economic development projects by providing resources for professional services, e.g., architectural, engineering, or legal.
(g) Improve recipient’s organizational capacity by providing training and resource material on developing strategic plans, board operations, management, financial systems, and information technology.
(h) Purchase of computers, software, and printers, limited to $10,000 per award, at the recipient level when directly related to the technical assistance program being undertaken by the intermediary.
(i) Provide funds to recipients for training-related travel costs and training expenses related to RCDI.
For examples of eligible purposes under the RCDI program see the Federal Register:
GrantWatch ID#: 174357
Expected Number of Awards: 30
Award Floor: $50,000
Award Ceiling: $250,000
Grant funds must be utilized within 3 years from date of the award.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
For more information about this program, or to file an application, contact your local Rural Development State Office RCDI Contact.
Shirley Stevenson, Community Programs Specialist
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