Community Programs, a division of the Housing and Community Facilities Programs, is part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development mission area. Community Programs administers programs designed to develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. These facilities include schools, libraries, childcare, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and transportation. Through its Community Programs, the Department of Agriculture is striving to ensure that such facilities are readily available to all rural communities. Community Programs utilizes three flexible financial tools to achieve this goal: the Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loan Program, the Community Facilities Grant Program, and the Rural Community Development Initiative.
Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants. Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments. Loans and guarantees are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as to non-profit corporations and tribal governments.