Program 101

What does this program do?

It helps very small, financially distressed rural communities with predevelopment feasibility studies, design assistance, and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

Who may apply?

  • Most State and local governmental entities
  • Non-profits
  • Federally Recognized Tribes  i

What is an eligible area?

Areas to be served must be rural and financially distressed:

  • Rural areas not in a city or town
  • Populations of 2,500 or less
  • And the area must also have a median household income below the poverty line or less than 80% of the statewide non-metropolitan median household income based on latest Census data

How may the funds be used?

To pay predevelopment planning costs, including:

  • Feasibility studies to support applications for funding water or waste disposal projects
  • Preliminary design and engineering analysis
  • Technical assistance for the development of an application for financial assistance

Are there additional requirements?

The predevelopment planning costs must be related to a proposed project that meets the following requirements:

  • Construct, enlarge, extend or improve rural water, sanitary sewage, solid waste disposal and storm wastewater disposal facilities
  • Construct or relocate public buildings, roads, bridges, fences or utilities, and to make other public improvements necessary for the successful operation or protection of facilities
  • Relocate private buildings, roads, bridges, fences, or utilities, and other private improvements necessary for the successful operation or protection of facilities

How do we get started?

  • Applications for this program are accepted through your local RD office year round
  • Program Resources are available online (i.e. forms, guidance, certifications, etc.)

What governs this program?

  • Basic Program – Code of Federal Regulation, Title 7, Part 1774 - 7 CFR 1774
  • This program is authorized by Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT)

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

This program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses. Good practices can save tax dollars, improve the natural environment, and help manufacturers and businesses to locate or expand operations.

NOTE: Program details may change over time. Before you begin an application, please confirm you have the most current information by contacting a specialist in your local office for assistance or consult the program Instructions listed in the section above titled "What Governs this Program?"

Forms & Resources

NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information and speak to a Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in your application.