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Rural Community Development Initiative

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Rural Community Development Initiative


Federal Agency




Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2005.






To develop the capacity and ability of private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, and low income rural communities to improve housing, community facilities, community and economic development projects in rural areas.


Types of Assistance

Project Grants.


Uses and Use Restrictions

Rural Community Development Initiative grants may be used for but are not limited to (a) training sub-grantees to conduct a program on home-ownership education; (b) training sub- grantees to conduct a program for minority business entrepreneurs; (c) providing technical assistance to sub-grantees on how to effectively prepare a strategic plan; (d) provide technical assistance to subgrantees on how to access alternative funding sources; (e) building organizational capacity through board training; (f) developing training tools, such as videos, workbooks, and reference guides to be used by the sub-grantee; (g) providing technical assistance and training on how to develop successful child care facilities; and (h) providing training on effective fundraising techniques.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Rural Community Development Initiative grants may be made to a legally qualified private or public (including tribal) organization that provides technical assistance to nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, and low income rural communities. The grantee must provide a program of technical assistance to the sub-grantee. The grantee must have been legally organized for a minimum of three years prior experience working with nonprofit organizations or low-income rural communities in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. Assistance is authorized for eligible applicants in rural areas of the States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palaw, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Subgrantees must be legally organized private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, low income rural communities, and Federally recognized Indian Tribes.


Have the legal, financial, administrative, and operational capacity relative to the activity for which assistance is requested. Have necessary background and experience with proven ability to perform responsibly in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. Have the ability to work within established guidelines.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

A complete application for RCDI funds must include the following: (a) a summary page; (b) a detailed table of contents containing page numbers for each component of the application; (c) a project overview; (d) the evaluation criteria; (e) a separate one-page information sheet listing each of the evaluation criteria followed by the page numbers of all relevant material and documentation contained in the application which supports these criteria; (f) a breakdown of specific time increments and steps to accomplish goals; (g) a detailed breakdown of estimated costs and a project budget; (h) organizational documents for the grantee; (i) Form SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance; (j) Form SF-424B, Assurances - Non-Construction Programs; (k) Form AD-1047, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters Primary Covered Transactions; (l) Form AD-1048, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion Lower Tier Covered Transactions; (m) Form AD-1049, Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements; (n) Certification of Non- Lobbying Activities; (o) Standard Form LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities; (p) Form RD 400-4, Assurance Agreement; and (q) report any association or relationship with Rural Development employees. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

Application procedures will be announced in the Federal Register and on the web site.

Award Procedure

Award is made by the Administrator, Housing and Community Facilities Programs.


Announced in Federal Register.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

As required, 90 days to 120 days.


If an application is rejected, the reasons for rejection are fully stated. The applicant may request a review of the decision from the National Appeals Division, USDA.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The grantee must provide matching funds at least equal to the amount of the grant in the form of cash or committed funding. (No in-kind contributions.)

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Proposals must be structured to utilize the Rural Community Development Initiative grant funds within 3 years from the execution of the Rural Community Development Initiative grant agreement.


Post Assistance Requirements


The grantee will perform self-evaluations by preparing quarterly financial and project performance reports in accordance with the grant agreement for RCDI.


Periodic audits should be made as part of the grantee's system of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of the grant. In accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR Part 3052, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," which implement OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that receive financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 7 CFR 3052.


The borrower must maintain adequate records and accounts related to the technical assistance performed.


Financial Information

Account Identification

12-2081-0-1-371; 12-4215-0-3-371.


(Grants) FY 07 $6,200,000; FY 08 est $6,000,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$50,000 to $500,000. Average: $250,000.


Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, 38 grants were made.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

Administrative Regulations 7 CFR 3015, 7 CFR 3016, 7 CFR 3019, 7 CFR 3052; H.R. 5426 Guidelines announced in NOFA, published in the Federal Register.


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Consult your local telephone directory for Rural Development state office numbers. If no listing, contact the appropriate Rural Development State Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Deputy Administrator, Community Programs, Housing and Community Facilities Programs, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250- 3222. Telephone: (202) 720-1490.

Web Site Address


Related Programs



Examples of Funded Projects

Grants were made to (a) hire a staff person to provide technical assistance to the sub-grantee; (b) the sub-grantee organization hires a staff person, under the supervision of the grantee, to carry out the technical assistance; (c) develop the capacity of sub-grantees to conduct community development programs; (d) develop the capacity of sub-grantees to conduct home-ownership education programs; and (e) develop the capacity of sub-grantees to conduct training for minority business entrepreneurs.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Factors considered for project selection include but are not limited to median household income, rural population, and points for evaluation criteria.


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