Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants that will be awarded to organizations to provide critical financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop and strengthen their capacity to carry out housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects.
"Many rural nonprofits often need capital and technical assistance to carry out their missions," Vilsack said. "These grants will provide both of these components through local and regional organizations that are experts at delivering such services."
USDA is making nearly $6 million available to qualified organizations under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI).
Recipients must be non-profit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes. Intermediary organizations are required to provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. The grants do not go directly to business recipients but rather through qualified intermediaries.
The deadline for submitting RCDI applications is November 12, 2014. In Oregon, applications must be submitted to the following address:
USDA Rural Development
Attn: Sam Goldstein, Community Programs Director
1201 NE Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 801
Portland, OR 97232
Applications outside of Oregon should be submitted to the state office where the applicant's headquarters are located. More information about the program and how to apply is available on page 47427 of the August 13, 2014, Federal Register.
An example of how the RCDI program is helping rural communities is the Western Maine Community Action Program (WMCAP), which received several RCDI grants in recent years to help low- and very-low-income seniors maintain their independence and remain in their homes through the Keeping Seniors Home Program. Started in 2004, this program has served nearly 3,000 low-income senior homeowners in Maine. WMCAP is also working on a regional job creation plan to train energy auditors, private contractors, and other community partners to provide additional support services to Maine's elderly rural citizens.
President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses, and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way—strengthening America's economy, small towns, and rural communities.