Federal Resources

Plus upcoming events & notices for grant application and funding proposal deadlines

The passage of federal legislation — such as the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, and Inflation Reduction Act — provides new and expanded opportunities for rural America. Below you’ll find resources explaining federal opportunities for rural people and places. The understanding of how these bills are affecting rural America is evolving, so check back regularly for more information.

Important resources: The Rural Partners Network (RPN) and the Rural Playbook from the White House and USDA will improve access to funding and are critical steps to increasing capacity for rural communities.

  • The billions of dollars in local funding made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are great in theory but less helpful to rural communities that typically struggle to apply for and manage federal assistance. That’s where the White House’s new Rural Playbook comes in. The aim is to equip state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments with information on the “what, when, where, and how to apply” for infrastructure funds. Most importantly, it includes a cost-share section that helps applicants find resources, reduce match requirements, and other important tools to reduce the cost of accessing federal funding.

Timely events & notices

Upcoming deadlines for grant applications, funding proposals, webinars, information sessions, and more. All event times are listed in Eastern Time (ET).

  • Registration opening soon: To assist underserved local governments with populations of 150,000 residents or fewer, the National League of Cities and the Local Infrastructure Hub are offering a series of bootcamps to help local governments take advantage of the grant opportunities available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Undetermined closing date: The Department of Transportation is accepting applications for its Public Transportation Technical Assistance and Workforce Development program. This program provides support for workforce development and transition, including in relation to zero-emission fleet conversion and other technical assistance to support transit providers in enhancing safe, efficient, equitable, and climate-friendly public transportation. 
  • June 20 Deadline USDA is making up to $79 million in grants available under the Community Connect program. Recipients may use the funds to establish high-speed internet networks that will foster economic growth and deliver enhanced educational, health care, and public safety benefits.
  • June 20 Deadline The US Department of Education has released a Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for its Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Grant Program, funded at nearly $45 million. Public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education (IHEs) with an enrollment of at least 30% of students who attended high schools located in rural areas, as well as public and private nonprofits that partner with IHEs, are eligible to apply. 
  • June 30 deadline: USDA Rural Development provides funding through the Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants and Guaranteed Loans program. Through this program, agriculture producers and rural small businesses are able to purchase, install and construct renewable energy systems or complete energy efficiency improvements. The next round of applications are due June 30. 
  • June 30 deadline: The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program offers loans and grants to support Microenterprise Development Organization and establish revolving loan funds. Applications are due June 30. 
  • June 30 deadline to submit expression of interest: IEDC, in partnership with six national and international associations and the EDA, announced the inaugural Economic Recovery Corps (ERC) program, which will place up to 65 Fellows from diverse backgrounds and disciplines within partnering organizations across the United States to activate economic development projects or plans that generate new practices and paradigms for equitable and inclusive change.
  • July 3 deadline: USDA is making up to $3 million in grants available through the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program. The program is a collaborative effort among health care professionals, institutions of higher education, research centers, and other entities. To qualify for a grant, applicants must be a consortium of regional institutions of higher education, academic health and research institutes, and/or economic development entities located within the Delta Region. 
  • July 17 deadline: USDA is making $7.5 million in loan funding available under the Native Community Development Financial Institutions (NCDFI) Relending Demonstration program. The purpose of the program is to increase homeownership opportunities for Native American tribes, Alaska Native communities, and Native Hawaiian communities in rural areas.

FEderal agency resources

Administration for children & families (ACF)
Bureau of Indian AFfairs (BIA)
  • BIA website on what the American Rescue Plan means for Indian Country and Tribal Communities.
department of commerce (DOC)
Department of energy (DOE)
  • Weatherization Assistance Program reduces energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety.
  • Technical assistance for advancing Tribal energy projects to federally-recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal entities.
Department of health & Human Services (DHHS)
Department of housing & urban development (HUD)
  • HUD released a $365 million package of resources to address unsheltered homelessness and homeless encampments, including funds set aside specifically to address homelessness in rural communities.
  • Waivers and flexibilities from the requirements for Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG), and Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) grantees located in areas that are covered by Presidentially Declared Disasters (PDDs).
  • Guide on CDBG-CV Rural Coronavirus Response: Examples of how Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CDBG-CV) funds can be used for eligible activities to support issues facing rural areas.
  • Eviction Protection Grant Program: Support for experienced legal service providers in providing free legal assistance to low-income tenants who are at risk of eviction.
Economic development administration (EDA)
  • EDA and USDA’s joint resource guide to help community organizations access USDA and EDA resources to build strategies to boost economic development in rural America. It covers Planning and Technical Assistance, Infrastructure and Broadband Expansion, Entrepreneurship and Business Assistance, and Workforce Development and Livability.
  • Indigenous Communities Program: Apply for funding to help Indigenous communities recover economically from the pandemic. Deadline: September 30, 2022.
environmental protection agency (EPA)
  • The EPA released an initial list of programs covered under the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. 
  • Equity Action Plan assesses whether underserved communities and their members face systemic barriers in accessing benefits and opportunities through the federal government. 
  • EPA will be providing $50 million in ARP funding available to improve ambient air quality monitoring for communities across the United States.
  • National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Meetings: Get up-to-date information about upcoming meetings, events, and other environmental justice topics and activities.
federal communications commission (FCC)
federal transit administration (FTA)
internal revenue service (IRS)
  • Notice 2022-05.: The IRS is providing new and extended relief on various low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) requirements.
National institutes of health (NIH)
national park service (NPS)
  • NPS Tribal Heritage grants are providing funding to assist Indian Tribes, Alaskan Native Villages/Corporations, and Native Hawaiian Organizations in protecting and promoting their unique cultural heritage and traditions.
US department of agriculture rural development (usda)

USDA RD’s full list of grant and loan programs

  • USDA is seeking applications for funding available under the Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) initiative to support projects that will help rural people and economies prepare for the future.
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee program: $401 million in financing for the construction, maintenance, improvement and expansion of telephone service, and broadband in rural areas.
  • ReConnect Program: Apply starting September 6 for expanded access to high-speed internet for millions of people in rural America.

  • Multifamily Housing Loan Guarantees works with qualified private-sector lenders to provide financing to qualified borrowers to increase the supply of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in eligible rural areas and towns.
  • Housing Preservation Grant program: Apply for grants to help owners of rental housing repair and rehabilitate their units.

  • Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program: Affordable funding to develop essential community facilities (hospitals, courthouses, child care centers, museums, food pantries, etc.) in rural areas.
  • Emergency Rural Health Care Grants: Up to $500 million in grant funding to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities.

USDA RD Tools & Resource Guides

  • Resource guide on how rural communities can leverage USDA resources to build a stronger workforce.
  • Guide in both English and Spanish as part of National Preparedness Month to help rural communities seeking disaster resiliency and recovery assistance.
  • Resource guide for rural communities to develop their recreation economy.
  • Resource guide to help rural community leaders start and expand employment opportunities and access resources to train, recruit and create a sustainable rural workforce. View and download the guide here.

Find past workshop recordings on the USDA Rural Development YouTube Channel.

US department of agriculture

  • ACF and USDA joint resource guide to strengthen and expand child care facilities in rural communities.

  • Report: Impact of USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on Rural and Urban Economies in the Aftermath of the Great Recession.

  • Website explaining ARP and funding that USDA will implement for nutrition assistance, supporting farmers and strengthening food supply, ensuring equity for farmers of color, and strengthening infrastructure, housing and healthcare in rural America.

  • Fact sheet: Provisions in H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan

us senate committee on indian affairs
  • US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs summarizes the $31.2 billion investment heading to Indian Country and Native Nations.

us treasury
  • Capital Projects Fund offers payments to eligible governments to carry out critical capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the public health emergency.

  • Report shows the US childcare system overburdens families, causing shortages due to inadequate supply.

  • Fact sheet: Breakdown of ARP assistance to families.

white house
  • Fact Sheet: How the Inflation Reduction Act Helps Rural Communities.

  • Inflation Reduction Act Guidebook provides an overview of the clean energy, climate mitigation and resilience, agriculture, and conservation-related tax incentives and investment programs in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, including who is eligible to apply for funding and for what activities.
  • Updated fact sheets highlighting how the Bipartisan Infrastructure is delivering results for all 50 states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Tribal communities.

  • Tribal Playbook that outlines the what, when, where, and how to apply for part of the $13 billion the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law set aside specifically for tribes.

  • Housing Supply Action Plan to close the housing gap in 5 years, starting with the creation and preservation of hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units in the next three years.

  • Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides eligible households $30 per month off their internet bills. Eligible families who pair their ACP benefit with one of these plans can receive high-speed internet at no cost.

  • Fact Sheet: How the Build Back Better framework helps rural communities.

  • Fact Sheet: Historic investments to create opportunity and build wealth in rural America.

  • Fact Sheet: Steps the ARP takes to improve the health of rural communities.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group