Program Description

Essential community infrastructure is key in ensuring that rural areas enjoy the same basic quality of life and services enjoyed by those in urban areas. Community Facilities Programs offer direct loans, loan guarantees and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across rural America. These amenities help increase the competitiveness of rural communities in attracting and retaining businesses that provide employment and services for their residents. This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.

General Program Requirements

Who may apply for this program?
Eligible borrowers include:

  • Public bodies
  • Community-based non-profit corporations
  • Federally-recognized Tribes

What is an eligible area?
Rural areas including cities, villages, townships and towns including Federally Recognized Tribal Lands with no more than 20,000 residents according to the latest U.S. Census Data are eligible for this program.

How may funds be used?
Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and / or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment and pay related project expenses.

Examples of essential community facilities include:

  • Health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes or assisted living facilities
  • Public facilities such as town halls, courthouses, airport hangars or street improvements
  • Community support services such as child care centers, community centers, fairgrounds or transitional housing
  • Public safety services such as fire departments, police stations, prisons, police vehicles, fire trucks, public works vehicles or equipment
  • Educational services such as museums, libraries or private schools
  • Utility services such as telemedicine or distance learning equipment
  • Local food systems such as community gardens, food pantries, community kitchens, food banks, food hubs or greenhouses

What kinds of funding are available?

  • Low interest direct loans
  • Grants
  • A combination of the two above, as well as our loan guarantee program. These may be combined with commercial financing to finance one project if all eligibility and feasibility requirements are met.

Additional loan and grant information can be obtained from the Agency website: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program

Are there additional requirements?

  • Applicants must have legal authority to borrow money, obtain security, repay loans, construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities
  • Applicants must be unable to finance the project from their own resources and/or through commercial credit at reasonable rates and terms
  • Facilities must serve rural area where they are/will be located
  • Project must demonstrate substantial community support
  • Environmental review must be completed/acceptable

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

How do we start the application process?
Contact your state office to discuss your specific project. http://www.rd.usda.gov/browse-state

Applications for this program are accepted year round
Program resources are available online at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program

Who can answer questions?
Contact your local RD office at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/browse-state

What governs this program?
Direct Loans: 7 CFR Part 1942, Subpart A. http://go.usa.gov/hrBF
Grants: 7 CFR Part 3570, Subpart A. http://go.usa.gov/hrK3

Application Checklist for use with this program:
RD Form 1942-40, Checklist - Public Body or RD Form 1942-39, Checklist - Other Than Public Bodies

Program Contact Information

Aaron Morris
Special Projects Coordinator
aaron.morris@wdc.usda.gov
202-720-1501

Additional Information

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number10.766
Current Method of Tribal EligibilityProgram not specific to American Indians and Alaska Natives, but they are eligible
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations, Non-Tribal Entities
Matching Funds RequiredNo
Length of ProgramFunding is appropriated annually
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?Public bodies and Community-based non-profit corporations
Tribes Funded by this ProgramFunding is available to public bodies, Community-based non-profit corporations and Federally-recognized Tribes

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