Rural Development Capacity Initiative Grants, Deadline Nov. 12

This Notice announces the availability of $5,676,077 for competitive grant funds for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program through the Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency within the USDA Rural Development mission area herein referred to as the Agency. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. 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. This Notice lists the information needed to submit an application for these funds.

Congress initially created the RCDI in Fiscal Year (FY) 2000 to develop the capacity and ability of nonprofit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas.

Low-income rural community—An authority, district, economic development authority, regional council, or unit of government representing an incorporated city, town, village, county, township, parish, or borough whose income is at or below 80 percent of either the state or national Median Household Income as measured by the 2010 Census.

Regional Collaboration—Multi-jurisdictional areas typically within a State, territory, or Federally-designated Tribal land but which can cross State, territory, or Tribal boundaries.

The Regional Collaboration approach is intended to combine the resources of the Agency with those of State and local governments, educational institutions, and the private and nonprofit sectors to implement regional economic and community development strategies, including the enhancement of community-based philanthropic endowments.

Rural and rural area—Any area other than (i) a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants; and (ii) the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such city or town.

Matching funds are cash or confirmed funding commitments and must be at least equal to the grant amount and committed for a period of not less than the grant performance period. These funds can only be used for eligible RCDI activities. Matching funds must be used to support the overall purpose of the RCDI program.

In-kind contributions such as salaries, donated time and effort, real and nonexpendable personal property and goods and services cannot be used as matching funds.

Grant funds and matching funds must be used in equal proportions. This does not mean funds have to be used equally by line item.

Fund uses must be consistent with the RCDI purpose. A nonexclusive list of eligible grant uses includes the following:

1. 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.

2. Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct community development programs, e.g., homeownership education or training for business entrepreneurs.

3. Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct development initiatives, e.g., programs that support micro-enterprise and sustainable development.

4. Develop the capacity of recipients to increase their leveraging ability and access to alternative funding sources by providing training and staffing.

5. Develop the capacity of recipients to provide the technical assistance component for essential community facilities projects.

6. 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.

7. Improve recipient’s organizational capacity by providing training and resource material on developing strategic plans, board operations, management, financial systems, and information technology.

8. 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.Show citation box

9. Provide funds to recipients for training-related travel costs and training expenses related to RCDI.

Construction costs are not eligible.

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Rural Development Capacity Initiative Grants, Deadline Nov. 12

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