Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that USDA is seeking applications for technical assistance and training grants in the Community Facilities program.
“Too often, rural community organizations lack the technical expertise they need to access federal dollars,” Perdue said. “These technical assistance and training grants will help rural organizations overcome hurdles that prevent them from fully utilizing the Community Facilities Program. Increased access to federal funding will help build essential community facilities, and will allow rural areas to thrive.”
The grants are being provided through the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program. Congress authorized this new program in the 2014 Farm Bill to help rural communities develop their applications for Community Facilities loans and grants. Communities can use the grants to hire specialized personnel, pay for feasibility studies, retain consultants to prepare financial assistance applications and identify and plan for long-term community facilities needs.
Providing technical assistance will help more rural communities qualify for loans and grants. Many often lack access to specialized personnel who complete financial and environmental analyses, for example. These analyses often must be included in applications for USDA loans and grants.
Public bodies, non-profit organizations and Federally-recognized Tribes are eligible to apply for this funding. The maximum grant is $150,000.
Interested applicants may find more information about this program on page 23525 of the May 23, 2017, Federal Register.
Community Facilities programs help underserved rural communities develop essential community services, which in turn helps attract investments, create and retain jobs and businesses, and retain residents.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit here.