What does this program do?
This program provides low-income communities, which face significant health risks, access to safe, reliable drinking water and waste disposal facilities and services.
Who may apply?
- State and local governmental entities serving eligible areas
- Nonprofit organizations
- Utility districts serving Colonias
- Federally recognized tribes
What is an eligible area?
- Federally recognized tribal lands
- Areas recognized as Colonias before October 1, 1989
- Rural areas and towns with populations of 10,000 or less
Residents of the area to be served must face significant health risks due to a lack of access to, or use of adequate, affordable water or waste disposal.
NOTE: Areas not located in a Colonia must meet per capita income and unemployment rate requirements. Contact your local RD office for information.
What may the funds be used for?
- Construction of basic drinking water and waste disposal systems, including storm drainage
NOTE: Utility districts may also be able to provide grants to individual households to install indoor plumbing and connect to the system.
Are matching funds required?
Partnerships with other federal, state and local entities are encouraged; however, a 100 percent grant may be offered in some circumstances if funds are available.
How do we get started?
- Applications are accepted year round through your local RD office.
What if we have questions?
- Contact your local RD office
- Participating nonprofits may also offer assistance and training
What governs this program?
- Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR 1777, Section 306C
- Agricultural Act of 2014
Colonias – This is a term used to describe subdivisions located outside incorporated areas along the U.S.-Mexico border where residents face significant health risks due to a significant portion of the community lacking access to clean, reliable, affordable drinking water and/or waste disposal systems.
Federally recognized tribes - federally recognized tribes are eligible for many USDA Rural Development programs. A list of all federally recognized tribes is published in the Federal Register and posted at https://www.bia.gov/tribal-leaders-directory. Additionally, a few RD programs include tribes on state reservations as eligible applicants. More information on those programs is available at the Government Accountability Office site.
Tribal Lands – USDA Rural Development can help finance projects on Indian lands in rural areas. For further information on Indian lands and other American Indian/Alaska Native topics, visit the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs website: www.bia.gov/FAQs.