Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.
Uses and Use Restrictions
Grants reimburse eligible organizations for part or all of the costs of conducting, administering, and coordinating an effective housing application packaging program in colonias and designated counties.
Eligible organizations aid very low- and low-income individuals and families in obtaining benefit from Federal, State, and local housing programs.
The following are restrictions under the housing application packaging grants: (1) These funds are available only in the areas defined in Exhibit D of RD Instruction 1944-B; (2) the packager may not charge fees or accept compensation or gratuities directly or indirectly from the very low- and low-income families being assisted under this program; (3) the packager may not represent or be associated with anyone else, other than the applicant, who may benefit in any way in the proposed transaction; (4) if the packager is compensated for this service from other sources, then the packager is not eligible for compensation from this source except as permitted by RHS; (5) grantees who are funded to do self-help housing effort; and (6) the authorized representatives must have no pecuniary interest in the award of the architectural or construction contracts, the purchase of equipment, or the purchase of the land for the housing site.
An eligible grantee is an organization which is defined as any of the following entities which are legally authorized to work in designated counties and/or colonias and are: (1) A State, State agency, or unit of general local government; or (2) a private nonprofit organization or corporation that is owned and controlled by private persons or interests, is organized and operated for purposes other than making gains or profits for the corporation, and is legally precluded from distributing any gains or profits to its member.
The targeted groups are nonprofit organizations who will serve very low- and low-income families without adequate housing in the colonias and designated counties.
(1) Have the financial, legal, and administrative capacity to carry out the responsibilities of packaging housing applications for very low- and low-income applicants. To meet this requirement it must have the necessary background and experience with proven ability to perform responsibly in the field of housing application packaging, low-income housing development, or other business or administrative ventures which indicate an ability to perform responsibility in this field of housing application packaging. (2) legally obligate itself to administer grant funds, provide adequate account of the expenditure of such funds, and comply with RHS regulations; (3) if the organization is a private nonprofit corporation: (a) is organized under State and local laws. (b) is qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. (c) has as one of its purposes assisting very-low- and low-income families to obtain affordable housing; and (d) comply with the administrative requirements in RD Instruction 1944-B, other RHS policies and regulations.
Aplication and Award Process
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
A package will consist of the required forms for the respective loan or grant program, as listed in Exhibit C of RD Instruction 1944-B. Grantees shall submit all material requested to the local Rural Development office. In addition, an original and copy of Forms RD 400-1, "Equal Opportunity Agreement," and Form RD 400-4, "Assurance Agreement," must be submitted. A copy of a current "Certificate of Training" pertaining to the type of application will be submitted. Applicants must also provide proof of nonprofit status under Section 501 (c)(3) or Section 501 (c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code or of their existence as a State agency or unit of government legally authorized to work in the designated county and/or colonia. An SF-270, "Request for Advance or Reimbursement," will be submitted with each package for the amount authorized for the specific loan type, as listed in Exhibit B of RD Instruction 1944-B.
Awards are made by the State Director.
Housing Act of 1949, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1479.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
The determination is made by the State Director. Grantees must attend training each year in order to qualify for assistance. A copy of a current "Certificate of Training" pertaining to the type of application package must be submitted. Generally, training must be completed prior to December 31 of any year.
Appeal rights are available under 7 CFR 3550.4.
Grantees may reapply and packages may be submitted after the annual housing application packaging orientation and training is held, and a "Certificate of Training" is issued.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The State Director will determine based on the housing funds available, how many applications can be processed for each program during the fiscal year. The grant period will end when sufficient packages are received for each designated county or colonias, or on September 30, of the fiscal year, whichever is earlier.
Post Assistance Requirements
Quarterly reports must be submitted to the appropriate RD office servicing the designated county and/or colonias.
Annual audits should be made as part of the recipient's systems of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of grants and other agreements.
The grantee will be required to retain records for 3 years from the date Standard Form (SF) - 269A, financial status report (short form), is submitted. These records will be accessible to RD and other Federal officials in accordance with 7 CFR Part 3015. A file of packages submitted will be established in the RD office and retained in accordance with RD Instruction 2033-A.
(Grants) FY 07 $30,000; FY 08 est $0; and FY 09 est not available.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Fees paid for Section 502 Single Family Housing Loans, Section 504 Repair Loans and Grants, and Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans are $500 for each acceptable package. For other programs, refer to Exhibit B of RD Instruction 1944-B.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
7 CFR 1944 Subpart B, 7 CFR 3014 (for nonprofit organizations) and 7 CFR 3016 (For State and local governments).
Regional or Local Office
Consult your local telephone directory under United States Department of Agriculture for RD field office number. If no listing, contact appropriate Rural Development State Office listed in the Appendix IV of the Catalog or on the internet at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html.d.
Director, Single Family Housing Processing Division, Rural Housing Programs, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-1474. FTS is not available.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
According to Canadian entrepreneur and author Al Etmanski, co-operation is the greater social enterprise promise.