U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural announced today that USDA is seeking applications to implement regional economic and community development projects to create thriving communities for people in rural America.
The 2018 Farm Bill authorized USDA to make this funding available under the Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) initiative to support projects that will help rural people and economies prepare for the future. It can be used to implement projects that are included in multi-jurisdictional and multisectoral strategic community investment plans. In fiscal year 2023, this funding is available under the following USDA Rural Development programs:
- Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program
- Community Facilities Loan Guarantee Program
- Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program
- Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees
- Rural Business Development Grants
- Community Connect Grants
Dr. Terry Goodin, USDA RD Indiana State Director, highlighted on the great things the SECD has accomplished for rural Indiana, "In the past, neighboring townships/communities may not have had the ability to build a Waste Water Treatment Facilities on their own. The SECD initiative bridges that gap by allowing communities to fund these projects by partnering together." Citing Paoli, Spurgeon, and others, Goodin went on to say, "Initiatives like these have already helped Hoosiers in many of Indiana's rural communities."
To be eligible for SECD reserved funding, applicants must meet the requirements and deadlines under the covered programs. Applicants must also submit a Form 1980-88 to USDA. See additional requirements below.
- Applications for SECD reserved funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program, should be submitted electronically via RD Apply. If submitting an electronic application is not possible, applicants may submit paper forms at the USDA Rural Development office where the project is located.
- USDA will issue an announcement in the coming months when the application window opens for the Community Connect Grants Program. To apply for SECD reserved funding under this program, applicants must submit forms electronically.
- To apply for SECD reserved funding under other grant programs or direct loan programs, applicants must submit forms to the USDA Rural Development office where the project is located.
- To apply for SECD reserved funding under loan guarantee programs, applicants must submit their Form 1980-88 concurrent with the Form 5001-1 and any documentation required under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative application guidelines.
Potential applicants can learn more about SECD by watching this short video on how the initiative can help rural communities create strategic growth and help rural Americans thrive: Investing in Rural Communities Through Strategic Economic and Community Development - YouTube.
On a final note Goodin stated, “I want to thank the administration for it’s continuing efforts to help rural communities in Indiana and those across this great nation. Together Indiana Prospers and Together America Prospers.”
For more information on requirements and deadlines under the covered programs, visit www.rd.usda.gov. For additional information on SECD reserved funding, see page 67010 of the Nov. 7, 2022, Federal Register.
USDA Rural Development encourages applicants to consider projects that will advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help rural America build back better and stronger. Key priorities include creating new and better markets, addressing the impacts of climate change and advancing equity in rural America. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.