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Rural Development Disaster Assistance

Utilities Assistance for Communities

Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants
These grants are designed for rural communities with a significant decline in the quantity or quality of drinking water. The population must not exceed 10,000, and median household income cannot exceed the State's non-metropolitan median household income. Grants may be made for 100 percent of project costs. The maximum grant is $500,000 when a significant decline in quantity or quality of water or an imminent source shortage occurred within 2 years. The maximum grant is $150,000 for emergency repairs and replacement of existing facilities.

To apply, community leaders should contact Utilities Program Specialists in their State Office.

Rural Development can help existing Rural Development borrowers who are victims of natural disasters. Below are brief descriptions of the disaster assistance options for our borrowers.

Disaster victims who are not Rural Development borrowers should contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is the lead agency that provides direct assistance to disaster victims. However, Rural Development's regular Housing, Business and Utilities Programs can help individuals, families, business owners and communities affected by natural disasters.

Single-Family Housing Loan Borrowers or Grant Recipients

Loan servicing options are available to help families who experience financial problems after a disaster. Servicing options include:

  • Moratoriums -- a temporary period where no payment is required -- for up to 180 days for borrowers who have lost employment, sustained severe property damage or have significant medical expenses.

  • Reamortization -- rescheduling loan payments to determine a new monthly payment amount -- if needed following a moratorium or to resolve an account delinquency.

To request loan servicing assistance, borrowers should contact the Centralized Servicing Center at:

USDA Rural Development
Centralized Servicing Center
Attn.: Borrower Assistance Branch, Special Assistance Section

Post Office Box 66889
St. Louis, MO 63166
Phone: (800) 414-1226
TDD: (800) 438-1832

Multi-Family Housing Loan Borrowers and Their Tenants

Residents in Rural Development-financed apartment complexes who are displaced by a natural disaster may apply for occupancy at any of our apartment complexes and receive special priority consideration for the next available unit. Displaced tenants who are receiving Rental Assistance may have their subsidy transferred if the complex they move to is eligible for the Rental Assistance program.

Although Rural Development expects borrowers' hazard insurance to cover damage costs associated with the disaster, we can consider temporary measures to reduce borrowers' financial burdens and work with them, if needed, to develop a servicing workout plan.

To request loan servicing assistance, borrowers should contact Multi-Family Housing Specialists in their State Office.

Community Facilities Loan Borrowers

Community Facilities borrowers adversely affected by a disaster can receive servicing assistance to help minimize their losses. To request loan servicing assistance, borrowers should contact Community Program Specialists in their State Office.

Business Owners

Rural Development's business programs normally do not have disaster assistance authority. However, many of our programs can help provide financial relief to small businesses as a result of natural disasters.

  • Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Programs Under the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program, loans can be made to eligible entities including corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, Federally-recognized Indian Tribes, individuals, and other legal entities to provide financial assistance for a variety of purposes, including capital expenditures, working capital, equipment and refinancing. Purposes can include the repair and damage to businesses as a result of the natural disaster.

  • Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) Program The RBEG program can provide grants to public bodies, nonprofit corporations and Federally-recognized Indian Tribal groups to enhance or develop small and emerging businesses in rural areas. By definition, a "small, emerging business" includes any business that has less than $1 million gross annual revenue and employs fewer than 50 people. Under the RBEG program, grants can be used for a variety of purposes, including to (1) develop infrastructure and industrial sites, (2) develop industrial sites and construct buildings on industrial sites, (3) develop a revolving loan fund that would be used to re-lend to small and emerging businesses, and (4) provide technical assistance to small and emerging businesses.

  • Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) Program The RBOG program can provide grants to public bodies, nonprofit corporations, Indian tribes, or cooperative members that are primarily rural residents to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs. This is accomplished by making grants to organizations to provide for economic development planning for rural communities, technical assistance for rural businesses, or training for rural entrepreneurs or economic development officials.

  • Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) Under IRP, loans are made to intermediaries who provide loans to ultimate recipients for business facilities and community development projects. The loan is made to an intermediary re-lender who, in turn, establishes a revolving fund and re-lends to various entities for eligible purposes. Businesses impacted by natural disasters could possibly qualify as a recipient for the revolved funds under this program.

  • Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) Program The REDLG Program provides financial assistance to Utilities Programs electric and telephone borrowers to re-lend for a variety of economic business and community development purposes. Loans are provided to finance a broad array of projects including for-profit businesses. Utilities Programs borrowers may receive financing for grant purposes through either a grant to establish a revolving loan fund or a combination loan and grant.

To apply, business owners should contact Business Program Specialists in their State Office.

Last Modified:11/20/2014 
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