The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is accepting applications for eligible entities to provide planning, training, and technical assistance to rural communities to foster placemaking activities.
USDA is making up to $3 million in cooperative agreement grants available under the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC). Eligible entities may use the funds to help rural communities create plans to enhance capacity for broadband access; preserve cultural and historic structures; and support development in transportation, housing, and recreational spaces.
The technical assistance will support the development of actionable plans based on convening partners and identifying community needs that enable rural areas to build back better and stronger. The technical assistance must provide support to rural communities for up to two years.
Public or private groups, organizations or institutions that demonstrate experience in providing placemaking technical assistance and administering federal grants are eligible to apply.
USDA seeks to partner with at least one entity each located in the northeastern, southern, midwestern, and western regions of the United States. The maximum award for any one applicant is $250,000. Applicants must provide a funding match of 15 percent.
USDA encourages applications that support communities designated as economically distressed and/or planning projects that enhance capacity for broadband infrastructure and deployment, including investments under the USDA ReConnect Program.
Electronic applications must be submitted via grants.gov by July 26, 2021, at 11:59 PM EDT. For more information, contact: RD.RPIC@usda.gov or review Federal Register Notice RBS-21-CO-OP-0011.