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Community Facilities Programs

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.

Public bodies, non-profit organizations and federally recognized American Indian Tribes can use the funds to construct, expand or improve facilities that provide health care, education, public safety, and public services. Projects include fire and rescue stations, village and town halls, health care clinics, hospitals, adult and child care centers, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, public buildings, schools, libraries, and many other community-based initiatives. Financing may also cover the costs for land acquisition, professional fees, and purchase of equipment. These facilities not only improve the basic quality of life but assist in the development and sustainability of rural America.

Community Facilities Programs

Community Facilities Direct Loans & Grants

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.

Community Facilities Loan Guarantees

This program provides loan guarantees to eligible lenders to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a public improvement, operated on a non-profit basis, needed for the orderly development of a rural community where the rural community is a city or town, or its equivalent county or multi-county area.  The term “facility” refers to both the physical structure financed, and the resulting service provided to rural residents or rural businesses.

Community Facilities Relending Program

We make loans to eligible lenders (re-lenders) which will in turn re-loan those funds to applicants for essential community facilities. Our Community Facilities programs provide loans for essential community infrastructure, so that people who live and work in rural areas can enjoy the same basic quality of life and services as those in urban and metropolitan areas.

Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant

The Agency will make grants to public bodies and private nonprofit corporations, (such as States, counties, cities, townships, and incorporated towns and villages, boroughs, authorities, districts, and Indian tribes on Federal and State reservations) to provide associations Technical Assistance and/or training with respect to essential community facilities programs.  

Economic Impact Initiative Grants

This program provides funding to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural communities with extreme unemployment and severe economic depression.

Emergency Rural Health Care Grants

The Emergency Rural Health Care program is designed to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities.  

Rural Community Development Initiative Grants

RCDI grants are awarded to help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities and federally recognized tribes support housing, community facilities and community and economic development projects in rural areas.

Tribal College Initiative Grants

This program provides funding to 1994 Land Grant Institutions (Tribal Colleges) to make capital improvements to their educational facilities and to purchase equipment.

Resources for Auditors

2019 Compliance Supplement Update

USDA is delaying the implementation of the continuing compliance requirements for the FY 2019 audits of CFDA 10.766/10.780.  Thus, audits of 10.766/10.780 for 2019 may continue to be conducted under the JUNE 2019 compliance supplement (not the updated August 2019 supplement).  This means that entities that did not have new expenditures under 10.766/10.780  (as defined by 2 CFE 200.502(b)) during FY 2019 will not have to report 10.766/10.780 awards on the SEFA for FY 2019. 

However, USDA does plan to move forward with the continuing compliance requirements for 10.766/10.780 awards in the FY 2020 Compliance Supplement.  At this time, those requirements have not been finalized, but please be aware that the FY 2020 Compliance Supplement is subject to change to include continuing compliance requirements.

Community Facilities Publications

Rural Transportation Infrastructure: Information and Guidance


America’s rural communities are an important link in the nation’s transportation network. Coast-to-coast, border-to-border, city-to-city, and farm-to-market, rural transportation systems connect our country. USDA Rural Development’s flexible Community Facilities Programs can help bring needed resources and innovation to create a framework for rebuilding transportation infrastructure in rural America. This resource provides information on how the Community Facilities Program can support rural transportation infrastructure.

Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants

CF Guidance Book cover

Introducing the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants, a step by step guide to helping applicants apply for a Community Facilities Direct loan. This guide book outlines the application process, financial feasibility requirements, construction and closing of an essential community facility for small towns and rural areas.

Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit

infrastructure toolkit cover

Check out the Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit, a guide to helping organizations and community leaders better understand the complex process that is required to successfully develop and construct a new facility. This Toolkit outlines the major capacity, credit, and logistical challenges that particularly confront America’s small towns and rural areas.