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Rural Development

Housing & Community Facilities Programs



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Who May Apply

Fund Uses

Maximum Grant



Interested in

Who may apply

Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.  Grants are authorized on a graduated scale.  Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants.

Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments.

In addition, applicants must have the legal authority necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed facility and also be unable to obtain needed funds from commercial sources at reasonable rates and terms.

Fund Uses top

Grant funds may be used to assist in the development of essential community facilities.  Grant funds can be used to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and community and public services.  This can include the purchase of equipment required for a facility's operation.  A grant may be made in combination with other CF financial assistance such as a direct or guaranteed loan, applicant contributions, or loans and grants from other sources.   For examples of essential community facilities click here.

The Community Facilities Grant Program is typically used to fund projects under special initiatives, such as Native American community development efforts; child care centers linked with the Federal government's Welfare-to-Work initiative; Federally-designated Enterprise and Champion Communities, and the Northwest Economic Adjustment Initiative area.

Maximum Grant top

The amount of grant assistance for project costs depends upon the median household income and the population in the community where the project is located and the availability of grant funds. In most instances, projects which receive grant assistance have a high priority and are highly leveraged with other loan and grant awards. Grant assistance may be available for up to 75% of project costs. Grant funding limitations are based on population and income, economic feasibility, and availability of funds.

Projects will be selected based on a priority point system.  Projects that will receive priority are those that:

  • Serve small communities - with the highest priority going to projects located in a community with a population of 5,000 or less.
  • Serve low-income communities - with the highest priority going to projects serving communities with median household incomes below the higher of the poverty line or 60% of the State non-metropolitan median household income.
  • Provide healthcare, public safety, or public and community services

Limitations top

Grant funds cannot be used to:

  • Pay any annual recurring costs, including purchases or rentals that are generally considered to be operating and maintenance expenses
  • Construct or repair electric generating plants, electric transmission lines, or gas distribution lines to provide services for commercial sale
  • Pay costs to construct facilities to be used for commercial rental where the applicant has no control over tenants and services offered
  • Construct facilities primarily for the purpose of housing State, Federal or quasi-Federal agencies
  • Finance recreational facilities or community antenna television services or facilities

Application Processing top

Applications are filed with the USDA Rural Development field offices.  Rural Development staff will be glad to discuss a community's needs and the services available from Rural Development and sister agencies within USDA.  Detailed information and applications for financial assistance are available through Rural Development State Offices.


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