Program 101

What does this program do?

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

Who may apply?

  • Most state and local governmental entities
  • Nonprofits
  • Federally recognized tribes

What is an eligible area?

Areas to be served must be rural and financially distressed:

  • Rural areas with a population of 2,500 or less
  • Have a median household income below the poverty line or less than 80 percent 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 year round through your local RD office.
  • Program resources are available online (i.e., forms, guidance, certifications, etc.).

What governs this program?

  • Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Part 1774 - 7 CFR 1774
  • Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

To help very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses.

Forms & Resources

NOTE: Please select your state in the dropdown menu above to find the state office contact information and speak to a program specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you time in completing your application.