Program 101

What does this program do?

It assists low-income communities with initial planning and development of an application for USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal direct loan/grant and loan guarantee programs.

Who may apply?

  • Most State and local governmental entities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Federally Recognized Tribes  i

What is an eligible area?

  • Rural areas and towns with a population of 10,000 or less. Check eligible addresses
  • Federally Recognized Tribal Lands i
  • Colonias  i
  • 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

How may the funds be used?

  • Grants may be used to pay part of the costs of developing a complete application for USDA Rural Development Water & Waste Disposal direct loan/grant and loan guarantee programs

Are there terms for grants?

  • May not be used to pay for work already completed
  • The amount of this grant will be subtracted from the total grant eligibility if a USDA grant is awarded for part of the water or waste disposal project
  • These grants do not have to be paid back if the application for the USDA Direct loan or loan/grant combination is not successful
  • Grants are based on demonstrated need and subject to the availability of funds
  • Partnerships with other federal, state and local entities are encouraged and grants are awarded only when the applicant cannot afford to borrow the needed funds

Is there a maximum grant amount?

Maximum of $30,000 or 75% of the predevelopment planning costs

Are matching funds required?

Yes, at least 25% of the project cost must come from the applicant or third party sources. In-kind contributions do not count toward this minimum

How do we get started?

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

Who can answer questions?

  • Help is always available through your local office
  • Participating non-profit associations also offer assistance and training

What governs this program?

  • Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR 1780
  • This program is authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014

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.