U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Michael Dora today announced that USDA has $150 million in grants available nationwide through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities, including Indiana continue their recovery from the devastating effects of excessive rain and flooding.
“USDA stands ready to assist rural communities with their recovery efforts,” said Dora. “The funding can be used to purchase, construct and/or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment and pay related project expenses. When rural America thrives, all America thrives.”
The $150 million is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019. The grants may be used for relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Michael and Florence; wildfires in 2018; and other natural disasters where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a notice declaring a Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number. Indiana has 31 counties included under the designation. View the list of designated counties as of Sept. 8, 2019. Please check the FEMA website for regular updates and names of additional counties that may be added.
Grant applications will be accepted at USDA’s state office at 5975 Lakeside Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46278 on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.