What does this program do?
This program helps qualified nonprofits and tribes create a revolving loan fund to increase access to clean, reliable water and septic systems for households in eligible rural areas.
Who may apply for these grants?
Nonprofits that have:
- Expertise and experience promoting the safe, productive use of individually-owned household water wells systems
- Legal authority to act as a lender
- Sufficient expertise and experience in lending activities
- Financial, technical and managerial capacity to comply with relevant federal and state laws and regulations
How may grant funds be used?
Grant funds may be used to help a nonprofit create a revolving loan fund for eligible individuals who own and occupy a home in an eligible rural area. The fund may be used to construct, refurbish, or service individually-owned household water well and septic systems. Terms for the loans include one percent fixed interest rate, 20-year maximum term, and an $15,000 maximum loan per household.
What is an eligible area?
- Rural areas and towns with populations of 50,000 or less - check eligible addresses
- Tribal lands in rural areas
Are matching funds required for the grant?
Yes. The nonprofit must contribute at least 10 percent.
- Matching funds may be from the non-profit applicant or a third party.
- Matching funds may not be in-kind.
Note: Homeowners seeking a loan should contact RD for details on nonprofits participating in this program.
Are there any Environmental requirements associated with this grant?
RUS will notify a successful applicant by an award letter accompanied by a grant agreement and multi-tier action environmental compliance agreement. The grant agreement will contain the terms and conditions for the grant; the multi-tier action environmental compliance agreement will detail the Recipient’s responsibilities in meeting the Agency’s Environmental Policies and Procedures, 7 CFR part 1970, in particular §1970.55 which applies to multi-tier actions or relending actions. The multi-tier action environmental compliance agreement acknowledges that further “tiered” environmental review may be required and coordinated by the Recipient prior to approving Subrecipient applications for re-lending purposes. The applicant must execute and return the agreements, accompanied by any additional items required by the award letter or grant agreement.
How do we get started?
- Electronic applications are accepted through www.grants.gov.
- Paper applications may be sent to Water Programs Division, Rural Utilities Service, Stop: 1570, Room 2234-S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1570.
Who can answer questions?
- Taylor Marable (615) 772-8726
- Contact your local RD office
What governs this program?
- Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR 1776
- Section 306E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act
Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
This program helps communities improve access to safe, reliable drinking water for households and improve the sanitary conditions caused by inadequate septic systems in rural areas.
NOTE: Please select your state in the dropdown menu above to find the state office contact information for this program and speak to a program specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you time in completing your application. Please also refer to the application materials listed below.
FY 2021 Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program Application Guide | PDF
There are no other architect, engineering or environmental requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
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