Rural Community Development Initiative


To develop the capacity and ability of private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, and low income rural communities to improve housing, community facilities, community and economic development projects in rural areas.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Rural Housing Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Rural Community Development Initiative grants may be made to a legally qualified private or public (including tribal) organization that provides technical assistance to nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, and low income rural communities. The grantee must provide a program of technical assistance to the recipient entity. The grantee must have been legally organized for a minimum of three years prior experience working with nonprofit organizations or low-income rural communities in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. Assistance is authorized for eligible applicants in rural areas of the States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palaw, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Recipient entities must be legally organized private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, low income rural communities, and Federally recognized Indian Tribes.
Have the legal, financial, administrative, and operational capacity relative to the activity for which assistance is requested. Have necessary background and experience with proven ability to perform responsibly in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. Have the ability to work within established guidelines. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Application procedures will be announced in the Federal Register and on the web site.
Award Procedure
Award is made by the Administrator, Housing and Community Facilities Programs.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
As required, 90 days to 120 days.
If an application is rejected, the reasons for rejection are fully stated. The applicant may request a review of the decision from the National Appeals Division, USDA.
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Applications that are received are competitively scored and the highest scoring are awarded grants until appropriated funds are exhausted. Factors considered for project selection include but are not limited to median household income, rural population, and points for evaluation criteria published in the notice of funding availability (NOFA).
How may assistance be used?
Rural Community Development Initiative grants may be used for but are not limited to (a) training sub-grantees to conduct a program on home-ownership education; (b) training sub- grantees to conduct a program for minority business entrepreneurs; (c) providing technical assistance to sub-grantees on how to effectively prepare a strategic plan; (d) provide technical assistance to sub- grantees on how to access alternative funding sources; (e) building organizational capacity through board training; (f) developing training tools, such as videos, workbooks, and reference guides to be used by the sub-grantee; (g) providing technical assistance and training on how to develop successful child care facilities; and (h) providing training on effective fundraising techniques.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No program reports are required. No cash reports are required. No progress reports are required. Grantee submits report detailing expenditures and progress as required by the grant agreement. The grantee will perform self-evaluations by preparing quarterly financial and project performance reports in accordance with the grant agreement for RCDI.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
The borrower must maintain adequate records and accounts related to the technical assistance performed.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: The grantee must provide matching funds at least equal to the amount of the grant in the form of cash or committed funding. (No in-kind contributions).
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Proposals must be structured to utilize the Rural Community Development Initiative grant funds within 3 years from the execution of the Rural Community Development Initiative grant agreement. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Applications received in accordance with the Federal Register Notice of Funding Availability are evaluated and the highest scoring applicants are awarded grants subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Contact regional office or headquarters as appropriate for additional information.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Consult your local telephone directory for Rural Development State Office numbers. If no listing, contact the appropriate Rural Development State Office found on the internet at
Headquarters Office
Geoffrey C Armes 1400 Independence Ave SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Email: Phone: 2027201498
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-4215-0-3-371; 12-2081-0-1-371.
(Project Grants) FY 14 $5,960,000; FY 15 est $10,406,191; and FY 16 est $10,400,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
FY 2015: $50,000 to $152,000. Average $205,177.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Administrative Regulations 7 CFR 3015, 7 CFR 3016, 7 CFR 3019, 7 CFR 3052; H.R. 5426 Guidelines announced in NOFA, published in the Federal Register.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.


Federal Grants Resources