Funding Alert! Housing Preservation Grants for Rural Development

United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Housing Service

Does your organization provide housing to individuals in rural communities or assist rural communities in recovering economically from COVID-19 impact? If you answered yes to either question, then check out this great opportunity from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Rural Housing Service, a Rural Development (RD) agency of the USDA, recently announced grants to support organizations with repair or rehabilitation of housing for low-income rural residents. Applications for this program are due July 11, 2022.

Who is eligible to apply?

This opportunity is for nonprofit organizations with or without a 501(c)(3) designation (not institutions of higher education), city, township, county, or state governments, Native American tribal governments and organizations, and faith-based and community organizations. Previous HDG awardees may apply for FY 2022 funding.

What are the program goals?

The Rural Housing Service, a rural development agency of the USDA, released this opportunity to assist cooperative housing complexes and rental property owners in rural areas in repairing and rehabilitating units that are available to low- and very-low-income persons. The goal of the agency is to lead the way in helping rural America improve quality of life and increase the economic opportunities for rural people.

Grantees will coordinate and leverage funding for repair and rehabilitation activities, including replacement housing, with housing and community development organizations in the same geographic area. Rental property owners are required to make the renovated or rehabilitated units available for occupancy to low- and very-low-income residents for no less than five years.

Applicants must address these key priorities

  • Assisting rural communities recovering economically from the impacts of COVID-19, particularly disadvantaged communities;
  • Ensuring all rural residents have equitable access to RD programs and benefits from RD funded projects; and
  • Reducing climate pollution and increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities.

Additional information regarding funding priorities is available at the following website:

The funder expects to award 160 grants; the total available funding pool is not yet determined. The project period can vary from twelve to twenty-four months. Applicants are encouraged to check with their state RD office to determine the state’s allocation as awards cannot be greater than 50%. Applicants are encouraged to work with local housing and community development organizations; however, there is not a required cost-share or match requirement.

What makes a project a good fit?

Applicants are encouraged to consider goals and activities related to renovation and rehabilitation of properties. In addition, applications should submit financially feasible projects, serve eligible rural areas with a concentration of substandard housing for low- and very-low-income households, meet eligibility requirements, meet the requirements of consultation and public comment in accordance with 7 CFR 1944.674, and submit a complete preapplication as outlined in the federal register.

Submitted projects will be scored based solely on the number of preapplication information with points awarded based on the percentage of very-low-income persons the project proposes to assist, the percentage of HPG funds to total funds, demonstrated capacity to manage rehabilitation projects, housing assistance programs, grant programs, geographic location of the proposed project, and the amount of administration funds allocated to the project. For a detailed list of the scoring criteria, review the full federal register notice.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your project forward, take the following action steps as soon as possible:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services (AGS) today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Julie Assel, GPC, President/CEO, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you with a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start preparing for next year! The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service office also has a variety of other programs and funding opportunities available that might be a good fit. The office’s website has ample resources and descriptions of available or upcoming opportunities.

How do I learn more about federal grant proposal writing, so my application is more likely to be successful?

AGS is excited to offer a Federal Grants Training Series in 2022! The series is designed to support nonprofit leaders before and during the application process. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

AGS blogs, funding alerts, and trainings are aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills

Competency #1: Knowledge of how to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs

Skill 1.2: Identify major trends in public funding and public policy

Skill 1.6: Identify fundable programs and projects for specific organization

Skill 1.7: Determine best matches between funders and specific programs