“Too often, rural community organizations lack the technical expertise they need to access federal dollars,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “These technical assistance and training grants will help rural organizations overcome hurdles that prevent them from fully utilizing the Community Facilities Program. Increase access to federal funding will help build essential community facilities and will allow rural areas to thrive.”
The grants are being provided through the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program. Congress authorized this new program in the 2014 Farm Bill to help rural communities develop their applications for Community Facilities loans and grants.
Luis R. García-Boria, Rural Development Acting State Director for Puerto Rico, said communities can use the grants to hire specialized personnel, pay for feasibility studies, and retain consultants to prepare financial assistance applications and identify and plan for long-term community facilities needs.
Providing technical assistance will help more rural communities qualify for loans and grants, the agency said.
Many often lack access to specialized personnel who complete financial and environmental analyses, for example. These analyses often must be included in applications for USDA loans and grants. Public bodies and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for this funding.