- Sponsor: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Internal Deadline: February 5, 2021
- Sponsor Deadline: March 22, 2021
- Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=330821
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 for fiscal year (FY) 2021. 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. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded from funds appropriated for the RCDI program. The Agency will publish the amount of funding on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/ newsroom/notices-solicitationapplications-nosas.
Please read the full program announcement before preparing your internal application.
- $50,000 – $250,000
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 faithbased 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.
- Private nonprofit, faith or community-based organizations must provide a certificate of incorporation and good standing from the Secretary of the State of incorporation, or other similar and valid documentation of current nonprofit status. For lowincome rural community recipients, the Agency requires evidence that the entity is a public body and census data verifying that the median household income of the community where the office receiving the financial and technical assistance is located is at, or below, 80 percent of the State or national median household income, whichever is higher. For federally recognized tribes, the Agency needs the page listing their name from the current Federal Register list of tribal entities recognized and eligible for funding services (see the definition of federally recognized tribes in this Notice for details on this list).
- Any corporation that has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the past 24 months; or has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability; is not eligible for financial assistance provided with full-year appropriated funds in accordance with restrictions substantially similar Sections 744 and 745 outlined in Division C, Title VII, ‘‘General Provisions—GovernmentWide’’ of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116– 93), unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government.
Other Program Requirements
- 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. A listing of Rural Development State Office contacts can be found at the following link: https:// www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_ Contacts.pdf. A map showing eligible rural areas can be found at the following link: http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/ eligibility/welcomeAction.do? pageAction=RBSmenu&NavKey= property@13.
- 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.
- Individuals cannot be recipients.
- 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.
- Proposals must be structured to utilize the grant funds within 3 years from the date of the award.
- Each applicant, whether singularly or jointly, may only submit one application for RCDI funds under this Notice. This restriction does not preclude the applicant from providing matching funds for other applications.
- Recipients can benefit from more than one RCDI application; however, after grant selections are made, the recipient can only benefit from multiple RCDI grants if the type of financial and technical assistance the recipient will receive is not duplicative. The services described in multiple RCDI grant applications must have separate and identifiable accounts for compliance purposes.
- 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.
Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria and weights:
- 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. Capacity-building financial and technical assistance should provide new functions to the recipients or expand existing functions that will enable the recipients to undertake projects in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will benefit the community. Capacity-building financial and technical assistance may include, but is not limited to: training to conduct community development programs, e.g., homeownership education, or the establishment of minority business entrepreneurs, cooperatives, or microenterprises; organizational development, e.g., assistance to develop or improve board operations, management, and financial systems; instruction on how to develop and implement a strategic plan; instruction on how to access alternative funding sources to increase leveraging opportunities; staffing, e.g., hiring a person at intermediary or recipient level to provide technical assistance to recipients. The program of financial and technical assistance that is to be provided, its delivery, and the measurability of the program’s effectiveness will determine the merit of the application. All applications will be competitively ranked with the applications providing the most improvement in capacity development and measurable activities being ranked the highest. The narrative response must contain the following items. This list also contains the points for each item. (1) Describe the nature of financial and technical assistance to be provided to the recipients and the activities that will be conducted to deliver the technical assistance; (10 Points) Explain how financial and technical assistance will develop or increase the recipient’s capacity. Indicate whether a new function is being developed or if existing functions are being expanded or performed more effectively; (7 Points) (3) Identify which RCDI purpose areas will be addressed with this assistance: Housing, community facilities, or community and economic development; (3 Points) (4) Describe how the results of the technical assistance will be measured. What benchmarks will be used to measure effectiveness? Benchmarks should be specific and quantifiable; (5 Points) (5) Demonstrate that the applicant/ intermediary has conducted programs of financial and technical assistance and achieved measurable results in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. (10 Points) (6) Provide in a chart or excel spreadsheet, the organization name, point of contact, address, phone number, email address, and the type and amount of the financial and technical assistance the applicant organization has provided to the following for the last 3 years: (5 Points) (i) Nonprofit organizations in rural areas. (ii) Low-income communities in rural areas (also include the type of entity, e.g., city government, town council, or village board). (iii) Federally recognized tribes or any other culturally diverse organizations.
- Soundness of Approach—Maximum 15 Points: The applicant can receive up to 15 points for soundness of approach. The overall proposal will be considered under this criterion. The maximum 15 points for this criterion will be based on the following: (1) 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) (2) The ability to provide the proposed financial and technical assistance based on prior accomplishments. (6 Points) (3) 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: Population is based on the average population from the 2010 census data for the communities in which the recipients are located. The physical address, not mailing address, for each recipient must be used for this criterion. Community is defined for scoring purposes as a city, town, village, county, parish, borough, Indian reservation or census-designated place where the recipient’s office is physically located. The applicant must submit the census data from the following website in the form of a printout to verify the population figures used for each recipient. The data can be accessed on the internet at https://data.census.gov/ cedsci/ . Enter location, P1 (i.e. Parma, Idaho, P1) and click ‘‘search’’; the name and population data for each recipient location must be listed in this section. The average of the median household income for the communities where the recipients are physically located will determine the points awarded. The physical address, not mailing address, for each recipient must be used for this criterion. Applicants may compare the average recipient median household income to the State median household income or the national median household income, whichever yields the most points. The national median household income to be used is $51,914. The applicant must submit the income data in the form of a printout of the applicable information from the following website to verify the income for each recipient. The data being used is from the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates (2006— 2010 data set). The data can be accessed on the internet at https:// data.census.gov/cedsci/; enter location, S1903 (i.e. Parma, Idaho, S1903),click on ‘‘Search, ‘‘click the drop down button and select the 2010 ACS–5 year estimates table the name and income data for each recipient location must be listed in this section (use the Household and Median Income column).
- State Director’s Points Based on Project Merit—Maximum 10 Points: (1) This criterion will be addressed by the Agency, not the applicant. (2) 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. The total points awarded under this criterion, to all applications, will not exceed 10. (3) When an intermediary submits an application that will benefit a State that is not the same as the State in which the intermediary is headquartered, it is the intermediary’s responsibility to notify the State Director of the State which is receiving the benefit of their application. In such cases, State Directors awarding points to applications benefiting their state must notify the reviewing State in writing. (4) Assignment of any points under this criterion requires a written justification and must be tied to and awarded based on how closely the application aligns with the Rural Development State Office’s strategic goals.
- Administrator Discretionary Points— Maximum 20 Points The Administrator may award up to 20 discretionary points for projects to address items such as geographic distribution of funds, emergency conditions caused by economic problems, natural disasters and other initiatives identified by the Secretary. The Administrator will award points to any application that supports the Agency’s overall goal to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) in high-risk rural communities by strengthening the capacity to address one or more of the following focus areas at the community, county, state, and/or regional levels: 1. Prevention: Reducing the occurrence of Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) among new and at-risk users as well as fatal substance-related overdoses through community and provider education, and harm reduction measures including the strategic placement of overdose reversing devices, such as naloxone; 2. Treatment: Implementing or expanding access to evidence-based practices for Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) treatment such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT); and 3. Recovery: Expanding peer recovery and treatment options that help people start and stay in recovery.
An Institution may submit one proposal.
If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to firstname.lastname@example.org 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)
- Indicate whether or not you have submitted to this program in the past. If so, please provide a copy of the review at the end of the internal application.
- A (maximum two-page) proposal summary that addresses the program’s specific selection criteria.
- One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
- A brief (less than a page) summary of total costs that includes the total amount and source of cost share.
- PI Curriculum vitae
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 email@example.com by the internal deadline listed above.
Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions directly related to this program, please contact the following program officers:
Shirley J Stevenson
Community Programs Specialist
View our calendar for all Current and Closed Limited Submissions.
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