Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants. Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments. In addition, applicants must have the legal authority necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed facility and also be unable to obtain needed funds from commercial sources at reasonable rates and terms.
Grant funds may be used to assist in the development of essential community facilities. Grant funds can be used to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and community and public services. This can include the purchase of equipment required for a facility's operation. A grant may be made in combination with other CF financial assistance such as a direct or guaranteed loan, applicant contributions, or loans and grants from other sources.
The Community Facilities Grant Program is typically used to fund projects under special initiatives, such as Native American community development efforts; child care centers linked with the Federal government's Welfare-to-Work initiative; Federally-designated Enterprise and Champion Communities, and the Northwest Economic Adjustment Initiative area.
Projects will be selected based on a priority point system. Projects that will receive priority are those that:
- Serve small communities - with the highest priority going to projects located in a community with a population of 5,000 or less.
- Serve low-income communities with the highest priority going to projects serving communities with median household incomes below the higher of the poverty line or 60% of the State non-metropolitan median household income.
- Provide healthcare, public safety, or public and community services