What does this program do?
This program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.
Who may apply?
This program assists qualified applicants who are not otherwise able to obtain commercial credit on reasonable terms. Eligible applicants include:
- Most state and local governmental entities
- Private nonprofits
- Federally-recognized tribes
What is an eligible area?
Areas that may be served include:
- Rural areas and towns with populations of 10,000 or less -- check eligible addresses
- Tribal lands in rural areas
What kinds of funding are available?
- Long-term, low-interest loans
- If funds are available, a grant may be combined with a loan if necessary to keep user costs reasonable.
How may the funds be used?
Funds may be used to finance the acquisition, construction or improvement of:
- Drinking water sourcing, treatment, storage and distribution
- Sewer collection, transmission, treatment and disposal
- Solid waste collection, disposal and closure
- Storm water collection, transmission and disposal
In some cases, funding may also be available for related activities such as:
- Legal and engineering fees
- Land acquisition, water and land rights, permits and equipment
- Start-up operations and maintenance
- Interest incurred during construction
- Purchase of facilities to improve service or prevent loss of service
- Other costs determined to be necessary for completion of the project
- See 7 CFR Part 1780.7 and 1780.9 for a complete list
What is the loan term and rate?
- Up to 40-year payback period, based on the useful life of the facilities financed
- Fixed interest rates, based on the need for the project and the median household income of the area to be served
Contact us for details and current interest rates applicable for your project
Are there additional requirements?
- Borrowers must have the legal authority to construct, operate and maintain the proposed services or facilities.
- All facilities receiving federal financing must be used for a public purpose.
- Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private and nonprofit entities that offer financial assistance are encouraged.
- Projects must be financially sustainable.
How do we get started?
- Applications are accepted year round and may be filed electronically using RD Apply. The RD Apply Customer Help Guide is provided to help you get started and work through the application process
- Applications are also accepted through your local RD office.
- Program resources are available online (i.e., forms, guidance, certifications, etc.).
Who can answer questions?
- Contact the local representative who serves your area
- Participating nonprofits in your area may also offer assistance and training
What governs this program?
- Basic Program – 7 CFR, Part 1780
- Loan Servicing – 7 CFR, Part 1782
- Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act
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 program specialist in your local RD office for assistance or consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Governs this Program?"
NOTE: Please ensure that your state is selected 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.
Current interest rates for 3rd quarter FY2023, effective April 1, 2023.
There are no other architect requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
Key WEP Engineering Resource Page
Individual states will have particular requirements based on state and local regulations. Please contact the local RD office in the state where your project is located.
There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
Rural Community Programs
5417 Clem’s Way
Stevens Point, WI 54482
Area Community Program Specialist Contact Information and Map
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