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Community Development/Infrastructure

Community Development Block Grants/States Program

The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 sets aside 30 percent of the funds in each annual appropriation for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for use in areas that are not part of a metropolitan city or urban county. States develop their own programs and priorities for these funds. Units of local government then carry out community development activities funded by the state.

In Texas, the Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA) administers the CDBG program. ORCA has established four grant programs with CDBG funding. Small cities and rural counties are eligible for all four. The programs are Texas Public Shelter Improvements to Aid Victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita (grants of up to $50,000 to address emergency shelter needs); the Disaster Relief/Urgent Need Fund (to provide a 25 percent match requirement for the Federal Emergency Management Agency); Microenterprise Loan Funds (to support a qualified nonprofit organization’s microenterprise loan program); and the Small Business Loan Fund (to provide small cities or rural counties with funds to support small businesses within their community through low-interest loans).

For additional information, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or call (202) 708-1322. More information is available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under program number 14.228.

For information on the Texas Public Shelter Improvements to Aid Victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita and the Disaster Relief/Urgent Need Fund, contact the Office of Rural Community Affairs at (512) 936-6701. For information on the Microenterprise Loan Fund and the Small Business Loan Fund, please contact the Office of Rural Community Affairs at (512) 936-6701.

Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants

The Rural Electrification Act of 1936 authorizes direct loans and project grants for projects that promote rural economic development and job creation. Electric and telephone utilities that have current loans with the Rural Utilities Service or outstanding loans or guarantees with the Rural Telephone Bank are eligible for these direct loans and project grants.

For additional information, call the USDA at (254) 742-9700. More information is available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under program number 10.854.

Community Facilities Loans and Grants

The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act authorizes guaranteed/insured loans, direct loans or project grants to build, enlarge or improve community facilities that provide essential services for rural residents. Community facilities are those providing or supporting overall community development such as child care facilities and food recovery and distribution centers; assisted-living facilities; group homes, mental health clinics and shelters; and education facilities. Projects may include community, social, cultural, transportation and industrial park facilities, fire and rescue services, access ways and utility extensions. All facilities financed in whole or in part with RHS funds must be for public use. Funds have been set aside for Hurricane Rita applicants.

For additional information, call the USDA at (254) 742-9700. More information is available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under program number 10.766.

Grants for Public Works and Economic Development Facilities

The Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 offers project grants to promote long-term economic development in areas experiencing substantial economic distress. Eligible activities include the acquisition, rehabilitation, design and engineering or improvement of public land or publicly owned and operated development facilities, including machinery and equipment. Eligible projects can include water and sewer system improvements, industrial access roads, industrial and business parks, port facilities, railroad sidings, distance-learning facilities, skills training facilities, business incubator facilities, redevelopment of brownfields, eco-industrial facilities and telecommunications infrastructure improvements needed for business retention and expansion. States, cities, counties, institutions of higher education and other political subdivisions can be qualified applicants.

For additional information, contact the U.S. Department of Commerce or the Economic Development Administration at (512) 381-8144. More information is available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under program number 11.300.

Bank Enterprise Award Program

Federal law authorizes project grant awards to insured depository institutions that invest in or otherwise support Community Development Financial Institutions, increase lending and investment activities within distressed communities or increase the provision of certain services and technical assistance within distressed communities.

For additional information, call the U.S. Department of the Treasury at (202) 622-6355. More information is available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under program number 21.021.

Intermediary Relending Program

Federal law authorizes direct loans from the Rural Business-Cooperative Service to intermediaries who must relend the funds for business facilities or community development in rural areas. Private nonprofit organizations, state and local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes and cooperatives can receive the original loans.

For additional information, call the U.S. Department of Agriculture at (202) 690-4100. More information is available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under program number 10.767.

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