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Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program in North Carolina

Open Year Round

Applications for this program are originated in the field office serving your county.  Select the Contacts tab above for the NC field office list.

Direct Loan Applicant Guidance Book: PDF  |  Spanish

What does this program do?
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.

Who may apply for this program?
Eligible borrowers include:

What is an eligible area?
Rural areas including cities, villages, townships and towns including Federally Recognized Tribal Lands with no more than 20,000 residents according to the latest U.S. Census Data are eligible for this program.

How may funds be used?
Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and / or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment and pay related project expenses.

Examples of essential community facilities include:

  • Health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes or assisted living facilities
  • Public facilities such as town halls, courthouses, airport hangars or street improvements
  • Community support services such as child care centers, community centers, fairgrounds or transitional housing
  • Public safety services such as fire departments, police stations, prisons, police vehicles, fire trucks, public works vehicles or equipment
  • Educational services such as museums, libraries or private schools
  • Utility services such as telemedicine or distance learning equipment
  • Local food systems such as community gardens, food pantries, community kitchens, food banks, food hubs or greenhouses

For a complete list see Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR, Part 1942.17(d) for loans; 7 CFR, Part 3570.62 for grants.

What kinds of funding are available?

  • Low interest direct loans
  • Grants
  • A combination of the two above, as well as our loan guarantee program. These may be combined with commercial financing to finance one project if all eligibility and feasibility requirements are met.

What are the funding priorities?

  • Priority point system based on population, median household income
    • Small communities with a population of 5,500 or less
    • Low-income communities having a median household income below 80% of the state nonmetropolitan median household income.

What are the terms?

Funding is provided through a competitive process.

Direct Loan:

  • Loan repayment terms may not be longer than the useful life of the facility, state statutes, the applicants authority, or a maximum of 40 years, whichever is less
  • Interest rates are set by Rural Development, contact us for details and current rates
  • Once the loan is approved, the interest rate is fixed for the entire term of the loan, and is determined by the median household income of the service area and population of the community
  • There are no pre-payment penalties
  • Contact us for details and current interest rates applicable for your project

Grant Approval:

  1. Applicant must be eligible for grant assistance, which is provided on a graduated scale with smaller communities with the lowest median household income being eligible for projects with a higher proportion of grant funds.  Grant assistance is limited to the following percentages of eligible project costs:Maximum of 75 percent when the proposed project is:
  • Located in a rural community having a population of 5,000 or fewer; and
  • The median household income of the proposed service area is below the higher of the poverty line or 60 percent of the State nonmetropolitan median household income.
  1. Maximum of 55 percent when the proposed project is:
  • Located in a rural community having a population of 12,000 or fewer; and
  • The median household income of the proposed service area is below the higher of the poverty line or 70 percent of the State nonmetropolitan median household income.
  1. Maximum of 35 percent when the proposed project is:
  • Located in a rural community having a population of 20,000 or fewer; and
  • The median household income of the proposed service area is below the higher of the poverty line or 80 percent of the State nonmetropolitan median household income.
  1. Maximum of 15 percent when the proposed project is:
  • Located in a rural community having a population of 20,000 or fewer; and
  • The median household income of the proposed service area is below the higher of the poverty line or 90 percent of the State nonmetropolitan median household income. The proposed project must meet both percentage criteria. Grants are further limited.
  • Grant funds must be available

Are there additional requirements?

  • Applicants must have legal authority to borrow money, obtain security, repay loans, construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities
  • Applicants must be unable to finance the project from their own resources and/or through commercial credit at reasonable rates and terms
  • Facilities must serve rural area where they are/will be located
  • Project must demonstrate substantial community support
  • Environmental review must be completed/acceptable

How do we get started?

  • Contact your local office to discuss your specific project
  • Applications for this program are accepted year round
  • Program resources are available online (includes forms needed, guidance, certifications)
  • Request a Unique Entity ID number if your organization doesn’t already have one. It should not take more than a few business days to get your number.
  • Register your organization with the System for Award Management (SAM) if you aren’t already registered. The registration is free, but you need to complete several steps.

Who can answer questions?
Contact your local RD office.

What governs this program?

NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change please always consult the program Instructions listed in the section above titled "What Law Governs this Program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance.

NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please refer to the application materials listed below to start the process of applying. Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information for this program and speak to a Community Programs Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in the process.

Application Checklist for use with this program:

RD Form 1942-40, Checklist - Public Body  (pdf) or

RD Form 1942-39, Checklist - Other Than Public Bodies (pdf)

Interest Rates

Current interest rates for the 3rd Quarter of Fiscal Year 2024, effective April 1, 2024 – June 30, 2024:

Poverty: 4.500%*
Intermediate:   4.000%*
Market: 3.500%*

For this quarter, all loans may be obligated at the lower market rate.

National Architect Requirements:

Rural Development (RD) Programs, such as Community Facilities (CF) and Multi-Family Housing (MFH), involve the construction of new buildings or renovation of existing facilities. The development of these facilities involves the need  for architectural services for the preparation of plans, specifications, public bidding, contracting, construction, and construction monitoring.

Applicants, at the earliest possible time, should provide a Preliminary Architectural Feasibility Report, including the Cost Estimate, for the review by the RD Area Loan Specialist and RD State Architect. These two documents are needed to determine the project's feasibility.  RD's State Architect will evaluate and provide architectural/construction guidance to the Applicants and their Architects, for RD financed architectural projects, in the following areas:
                   Initial site visit & evaluation of the proposed project
                   Preliminary Architectural Feasibilty Report                    
                   Agency concurrence of Owner/Architect Agreements
                   Agency acceptance of Plans & Specifications
                   Agency concurrence of Construction Contract documents
                   Construction & construction monitoring

National Engineering Requirements:

Individual states may have particular requirements based on state and local regulations. Please select your state in the dropdown menu above to find your local contact for this program.

National Environmental Requirements:

Rural Development environmental requirements can be found here: RD 1970 Environmental Policies and Procedures. Benefits of the 1970 environmental regulations are described here: 7 CFR 1970 Benefits.

There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.


Jody Lovelace, Area Director

160 Zillicoa Street, Suite #2

Asheville, NC 28801


844-325-6823 Fax

Email: jody.lovelace@usda.gov

Counties Served: All Area One Counties


134 Law Enforcement Dr., Suite 201

Jefferson, NC 28640


844-325-6823 Fax

Email: Joyce.Latham@usda.gov

Counties Served: Ashe, Watauga, Alleghany, Wilkes, Caldwell


195 Thomas Heights Road

Franklin, NC 28734


844-325-6823 Fax

Email: rebecca.pinto@usda.gov

Counties Served: Macon, Haywood, Jackson, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Swain


225 Valley River Avenue, Suite J

Murphy, NC 28906


844-325-6823 Fax

Email: jody.lovelace@usda.gov


11943 S. 226 Hwy Suite D

Spruce Pine, NC 28777


844-325-6823 Fax

Email: susan.roland@usda.gov

Counties Served: Mitchell, Yancey, Madison, Avery, Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania


Jody Lovelace, Area Director

844 Wallace Grove Road

Shelby, NC 28150


844-325-6850 Fax

Email: kevin.oliver@usda.gov

Counties Served: Cleveland, Gaston, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Mecklenburg


Forsyth County Agriculture Building Room 102

1450 Fairchild Drive

Winston Salem, NC 27105


844-325-6850 Fax

Email: kevin.oliver@usda.gov

Counties Served: Forsyth, Alexander, Burke, Davie 


444 Bristol Drive

Statesville, NC 28677


844-325-6850 Fax

Counties Served: Iredell, Catawba, Lincoln

Email: kevin.oliver@usda.gov


220 Cooper Street

PO Box 66

Dobson, NC 27017


844-325-6850 Fax

Email: debbie.dickerson@usda.gov

Counties Served: Surry, Yadkin, Stokes


Larry Sampson, Area Director

PO Box 7426

440-C Caton Road

Lumberton, NC 28360


844-325-6830 Fax

Email: larry.sampson@usda.gov

Counties Served: Robeson, Bladen, Cumberland, Scotland, Hoke, Columbus


Johnston County Agric Service Bldg

2736 Hwy 210

Smithfield, NC 27577


844-325-6830 Fax

Email: kristi.wilson@usda.gov

Counties Served: Johnston, Harnett, Sampson, Wake, Wilson


10 Referendum Drive

PO Box 108

Bolivia, NC 28422


844-325-6830 Fax

Email: paula.thrush@usda.gov

Counties Served: Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender


Kelley Woodley, Area Director

847 Curry Drive, Suite 104

Asheboro, NC 27205


844-325-6822 Fax

Email: sha.stallings-morgan@usda.gov

Counties Served: Guilford, Randolph, Davidson, Rowan, Stanly, Cabarrus, Rockingham, Caswell, Alamance


2416 Tramway Road

Ernest & Ruby McSwain Extension Educ & Ag Center

Sanford, NC 27332


844-325-6822 Fax

Email: margarita.marble@usda.gov

Counties Served: Lee, Chatham, Moore


123 Caroline Street

Rockingham, NC 28379


844-325-6822 Fax

Email: pamela.edwards@usda.gov

Counties Served: Richmond, Montgomery, Anson, Union


Shirlene Alexander, Area Director

853 S. Beckford Drive, Suite A

Henderson, NC 27536

252-438-3134 ext. 4

844-325-6826 Fax

Email: kim.hunt@usda.gov

Counties Served: Vance, Granville, Franklin, Warren, Orange, Durham, Person,


County Office Building

305 W. Tryon Street

P.O. Box 8

Winton, NC 27986


844-325-6826 Fax

Email: travis.lassiter@usda.gov

Counties Served: Hertford, Gates, Chowan, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Camden, Currituck, Bertie, Northampton


Halifax County Agriculture Complex

359 Ferrell Lane

P.O. Box 7

Halifax, NC 27839

252-583-7171 ext. 4

844-325-6826 Fax

Email: pamela.richardson@usda.gov

Counties Served: Halifax, Nash


Aaron Gaskins, Area Director

2044-C Hwy 11/55 South

PO Box 6189

Kinston, NC 28501-0189


844-325-6827 Fax

Email: stephanie.hardison@usda.gov

Counties Served: Lenoir, Jones, Craven, Pamlico, Onslow, Carteret, Wayne, Greene, Duplin


Pitt County Office Complex

403 Government Circle, Suite 3

Greenville, NC 27834


844-325-6827 Fax

Email: richard.gray@usda.gov

Counties Served: Pitt, Martin, Washington, Tyrrell, Dare, Beaufort, Hyde, Edgecombe