(OPEN) Limited Submission: Rural Community Development Initiative


The Rural Housing Service (Agency), an Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community.

This Notice announces that the Agency is accepting fiscal year (FY) 2019 applications for the RCDI program. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded from funds appropriated for the RCDI program.

Please read the full program announcement before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

Upper $250,000

Lower $50,000

Cost Share

There is a matching requirement of at least equal to the amount of the grant. If this matching funds requirement is not met, the application will be deemed ineligible.


Qualified private organizations, nonprofit organizations (including faith-based and community organizations and philanthropic foundations), in accordance with 7 CFR part 16, and public (including tribal) intermediary organizations are eligible applicants. Definitions that describe eligible organizations and other key terms are listed below.

The recipient must be a nonprofit community-based housing and development organization, low-income rural community, or federally recognized tribe based on the RCDI definitions of these groups.

The recipient and beneficiary, but not the intermediary, must be located in an eligible rural area. The physical location of the recipient’s office that will be receiving the financial and technical assistance must be in an eligible rural area. If the recipient is a low-income community, the median household income of the area where the office is located must be at or below 80 percent of the State or national median household income, whichever is higher. The applicable Rural Development State Office can assist in determining the eligibility of an area.

RCDI grantees that have an outstanding grant over 3 years old, as of the application due date in this Notice, will not be eligible to apply for this round of funding. Grant and matching funds must be utilized in a timely manner to ensure that the goals and objectives of the program are met.

The intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical assistance to the recipient.

The intermediary organization must have been legally organized for a minimum of 3 years and have at least 3 years prior experience working with private nonprofit community-based housing and development organizations, low-income rural communities, or tribal organizations in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development.

The intermediary and the recipient cannot be the same entity. The recipient can be a related entity to the intermediary, if it meets the definition of a recipient, provided the relationship does not create a Conflict of Interest that cannot be resolved to Rural Development’s satisfaction.

If the recipient is a low-income rural community, identify the unit of government to which the financial and technical assistance will be provided, e.g., town council or village board. The financial and technical assistance must be provided to the organized unit of government representing that community, not the community at large.

Selection Criteria

Building Capacity and Expertise— Maximum 40 Points

  • The applicant must demonstrate how they will improve the recipients’ capacity, through a program of financial and technical assistance, as it relates to the RCDI purposes.

Soundness of Approach— Maximum 15 Points

  • The proposal fits the objectives for which applications were invited, is clearly stated, and the applicant has defined how this proposal will be implemented. (7 Points)
  • The ability to provide the proposed financial and technical assistance based on prior accomplishments. (6 Points)
  • Cost effectiveness will be evaluated based on the budget in the application. The proposed grant amount and matching funds should be utilized to maximize capacity building at the recipient level. (2 Points)

Population and Income— Maximum 15 Points

  • The average population of the recipient locations will be used and will be scored as follows:
Population Scoring (points)
10,000 or less 5
10,001to 20,000 4
20,001 to 30,000 3
30,001 to 40,000 2
40,001 to 50,000 1
  • The average household and median income will be used and scored as follows:
Average Recipient Median Income Scoring
Less than or equal to 70 percent of state or national median household income 10
Greater than 70, but less than or equal to 80 percent of state or national median household income 5

State Director’s Points Based on Merit (10 points): Up to 10 points may be awarded by the Rural Development State Director to any application(s) that benefits their State regardless of whether the applicant is headquartered in their State.

Administrator Discretionary Points (20 points): The Administrator may award up to 20 discretionary points for projects to address geographic distribution of funds, emergency conditions caused by economic problems, natural disasters and other initiatives identified by the Secretary.

Limitation Details

An Institution, whether singularly or jointly, may only submit one proposal.

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to limsub@uga.edu according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:
  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
  • A (maximum two-page) proposal summary that addresses the program’s specific selection criteria.
  • A brief (less than a page) summary of total costs that includes the total amount and source of cost share.
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • PI’s Curriculum vitae
Internal Selection

Limited Submission announcements often generate multiple competing proposals.  UGA reviewers judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put their best foot forward.  Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria.

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to limsub@uga.edu by the internal deadline listed above.


Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to limsub@uga.edu.

For questions directly related to this program, please contact the following program officers:

Shirley J Stevenson

Community Programs Specialist

Phone 202-205-9685

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