Funding

WASHINGTON — Today, USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced the availability of over $9 million in outreach and technical assistance for minority farmers and ranchers and military veterans that are new to farming and ranching. The funding, provided through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program, will enable community-based organizations and other partners to work directly with these groups to successfully acquire, own and operate farms and ranches and equitably participate in all USDA programs.

"The future face of agriculture needs to be varied in experience, background and knowledge to meet the demand of the 21st century," said Deputy Secretary Harden. "The 2501 Program enables USDA to bring more farmers and ranchers into American agriculture by partnering with the institutions, land-grant universities and other organizations that work directly with these diverse communities. Through these critical partnerships, we will build a stronger agricultural future for our country and for the world."

Deputy Secretary Harden made this announcement at the White House during the Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change event celebrating the next generation of America's farmers and ranchers.

Through the 2501 Program, support is distributed to entities that work with minority or veteran farmers and ranchers -- 1890 Land Grant Institutions1994 Land Grant Institutions, American Indian Tribal community colleges and Alaska Native cooperative colleges, Hispanic-serving and other institutions of higher education, Tribal governments and organizations, or community-based organizations. The 2501 Program, administered by the USDA's Office of Advocacy and Outreach, has distributed over $57 million to 188 partners since 2010. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the program and expanded targeted communities to include military veterans. Applications for 2501 Program funding will be accepted through August 25, 2014, and must be submitted through www.grants.gov. More information about the 2501 Program is available at: http://www.outreach.usda.gov/grants/index.htm

America's farmers and ranchers continue to become more diverse. According to the 2012 Agricultural Census, minority and historically under-represented communities are part of the continued growth among new and beginning farmers and ranchers. According to the Census, 22 percent of all farmers were beginning farmers in 2012. That means 1 out of every 5 farmers operated a farm for less than 10 years.

Today's funding announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

DURHAM, NC -  With light-rail transit on the drawing board following approval of a half-cent sales tax in Durham and Chapel Hill, the Durham City/County Planning Department is co-sponsoring a community meeting to encourage development of affordable housing near rail lines. The meeting, the kick-off of a four-part strategy, is scheduled for August 20, 2014, at the Temple Building, 302 West Main St.  Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 8 a.m.

“Although the planned light-rail system will have tremendous economic, environmental and mobility benefits, the development of rail systems tend to significantly increase housing costs near transit stations,” said Assistant City/County Planning Director Patrick Young, “Our elected officials have wisely chosen to seek ways to preserve and create affordable housing in these areas now.”

Both the City Council and the Board of County Commissioners recently adopted resolutions to pursue policies that result in 15 percent of all housing units within one-half mile of all future light-rail stations to be affordable to households at or below 60 percent of area median income (AMI).  In Durham (City and County), a family of three making $32,560 per year is at 60 percent of AMI in 2014.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers housing “affordable” if a household is spending no more than 30 percent of its monthly gross income on rent (or a mortgage) and utilities.  

A family of three at 60 percent of AMI has only $814 per month to spend on rent (or a mortgage) and utilities and to stay within the HUD affordability guidelines.

“The private market is unlikely to provide new housing units affordable to working families near transit stations without incentives or assistance from non-profit, charitable or governmental organizations,” said Young.  “No one agency or entity can do this on its own – partnerships are critical to success.” 

The meeting will include a panel discussion on emerging issues in affordable housing and resources available, with representatives from the non-profit, private and governmental sectors.

Additionally, panelists will evaluate a sample development project financing plan to begin to assess the “gap” between an affordable housing unit and the costs of producing housing units near transit areas.

Finally, City and City/County staff will discuss a four-part strategy to encourage housing affordability near transit, including additional incentives through the development review process, the continued implementation of higher density “design districts” near transit stops, the identification of financing strategies for affordable housing and a detailed needs assessments to be conducted with the City’s HUD Consolidated Plan update.

The meeting is being hosted by the Self Help Credit Union, and also co-sponsored by the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development and Community Development Department.  

Admission to the event is free, and a light breakfast will be provided.  Since seating capacity is limited, interested persons should RSVP to Juliet Black with the Durham City/County Planning Department at (919) 560.4137, ext. 28216, or via email at Juliet.Black@DurhamNC.gov.

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Small Business Administration announced Small, non-farm businesses in the Idaho counties of Bonneville, Fremont, Jefferson, Madison and Teton are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  “These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began on May 15, 2014, in Madison County,” announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.  These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 2.625% for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster.  Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on July 16, 2014.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.  Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.  However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that approximately $13 million in Farm Bill funding is now available for organic certification cost-share assistance, making certification more accessible than ever for small certified producers and handlers.

"Consumer demand for organic products is surging across the country," said Secretary Tom Vilsack. "To meet this demand, we need to make sure that small farmers who choose to grow organic products can afford to get certified. Organic food is now a multi-billion dollar industry, and helping this sector continue to grow creates jobs across the country."

The certification assistance is distributed through two programs within the Agricultural Marketing Service. Through the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, $11.5 million is available to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories. Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, an additional $1.5 million is available to organic operations in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

These programs provide cost-share assistance through participating states to USDA certified organic producers and handlers for certification-related expenses they incur from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014. Payments cover up to 75 percent of an individual producer's or handler's certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification. To receive cost-share assistance, organic producers and handlers should contact their state agencies. Each state will have their own guidelines and requirements for reimbursement, and the National Organic Program (NOP) will assist states as much as possible to successfully implement the programs.

In 2012 alone, USDA issued close to 10,000 cost-share reimbursements totaling over $6.5 million, to support the organic industry and rural America. Additional information about resources available to small and mid-sized producers, including accessing capital, risk management, locating market opportunities and land management is available on USDA's Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources webpage.

USDA has a number of new and expanded efforts to connect organic farmers and businesses with resources that will ensure the continued growth of the organic industry domestically and abroad. During this Administration, USDA has signed four major trade agreements on organic products, and is also helping organic stakeholders access programs that support conservation, provide access to loans and grants, fund organic research and education, and mitigate pest emergencies. Through the NOP, USDA has helped organic farmers and businesses achieve $35 billion annually in U.S. retail sales. The organic community includes over 25,000 organic businesses in more than 120 different countries around the world.

Today's funding announcement for organic certification cost-share assistance was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America.

DENVER, CO - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the State of Colorado will receive an additional $58.2 million to help communities recover from last September's severe storms that produced devastating floods and mudslides. The recovery funds are provided through HUD's Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program to support long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with the greatest extent of 'unmet need', primarily in Boulder, Weld and Larimer Counties.

HUD previously allocated $262.1 million to assist recovery efforts in Colorado. The funds announced today bring HUD’s total CDBG-DR investment to $320 million.

Grantee

Grant Announced Today

Previous Grants

Total

Colorado

$58,246,000

$262,100,000

$320,346,000

"After visiting Lyons and Evans last year, I promised HUD would remain committed to making sure the state has the resources they need to recover from unprecedented flooding and mudslides,” said Donovan. "This additional money will fund a local vision to rebuild homes and businesses, repair badly damaged roads and bridges, and spur economic development. HUD will continue working with officials in Colorado to rebuild more resilient and better prepared for future storms."

“It has been almost ten months since the flood struck last fall, and our federal partners have provided extraordinary resources to help our state recover,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “This third round of funding of CDBG-DR funds will help our communities grow stronger and more resilient as they recover over the long term. Families, businesses and local economies in disaster-impacted communities will never be made whole. But this funding will provide critical support for Colorado’s future.”

"The September 2013 flood and destructive government shutdown left Colorado hobbled. Since then I have been proud to work collaboratively with the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development to ensure Colorado communities have the resources they need to rebuild and protect Coloradans and businesses from future floods," U.S. Senator Mark Udall said. "This latest allocation is welcome news for Colorado and underscores the critical role HUD has played and will continue to play in helping us to rebuild smarter and stronger."

“We knew we’d have a long road to recovery, and we’re making tremendous progress,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “These resources from HUD are particularly critical because they will us help continue to recover in a variety of ways, from repairing homes and businesses, to restoring local infrastructure, supporting the long term economic recovery of these communities, and mitigating future damage. We’ll continue to work with HUD and other federal agencies along with the state to ensure every community has what it needs to recover during this long process.”

A minimum of 80 percent of the funds awarded will be targeted in Boulder, Weld, and Larimer Counties where approximately 2,800 homes incurred major or severe damage.

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, signed into law by President Obama on January 29th, included $16 billion in CDBG-DR funding. The legislation specifies these funds are to be used "for necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas resulting from a major disaster."

HUD’s CDBG-DR grants are intended to confront housing, business and infrastructure needs beyond those addressed by other forms of public and private assistance. Using a combination of data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), HUD identified particular counties in Colorado with the greatest extent of damage to housing, businesses and infrastructure.

HUD will shortly publish a Notice that will regulate the use of the funds announced today. The State of Colorado will then finalize disaster 'action plans' describing how it intends to expend these funds to support disaster recovery and HUD will quickly review them.

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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the allocation of more than $31 million to the City of Chicago, Cook County, and DuPage County to help these communities recover from devastating storms, strong winds and flooding.  These grants are provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program to support long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with the greatest extent of ‘unmet need.’

The City of Chicago will receive $11 million; Cook County will receive $14.8 million; and DuPage County will receive $5.6 million to support local recovery efforts following powerful storms and flooding that occurred from April 16 through May 5 of 2013. To date, HUD has allocated more than $188 million to support long-term disaster recovery in some of Illinois’ hardest-hit communities:

Grantee

Grants Announced Today

Previous Grants

Total

Chicago

$11,075,000

$52,000,000

$63,075,000

Cook County

$14,816,000

$68,800,000

$83,616,000

DuPage County

$5,626,000

$25,900,000

$31,526,000

State of Illinois

$10,400,000

$10,400,000

TOTAL

$31,517,000

$157,100,000

$188,617,000

“Since Illinois was struck by severe storms last year, HUD has worked closely with local officials to ensure they have the resources they need to help the hardest-hit communities recover,” said Donovan.  “HUD will continue working with state and local leaders as they rebuild homes and businesses to be more resilient and better prepared for future storms.”

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, signed into law by President Obama on January 29th, included $16 billion in CDBG-DR funding. The legislation specifies these funds are to be used "for necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas resulting from a major disaster."

HUD’s CDBG-DR grants are intended to confront housing, business and infrastructure needs beyond those addressed by other forms of public and private assistance. Using a combination of data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), HUD identified particular counties in Colorado with the greatest extent of damage to housing, businesses and infrastructure.

HUD will shortly publish a Notice that will regulate the use of the funds announced today. The grantees will then finalize disaster 'action plans' describing how they intend to expend these funds to support disaster recovery and HUD will quickly review them.

The Manhattan Community Arts Fund (MCAF) is a local arts funding program that provides seed grants to individual artists, collectives and small arts organizations for projects and activities that will enable Manhattan communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media, and visual arts. An MCAF grant is often one of the first grants an artist or group receives, and can help grant recipients leverage financial support from other sources. Each year, the program awards over $230,000 to support over 120 arts projects, including concerts, performances, public art, exhibitions, screenings, festivals, workshops, readings and more.

The Manhattan Community Arts Fund (MCAF) was established in 1983 as part of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ Greater New York Arts Development Fund to support projects that are not able to access city arts funding directly. LMCC administers MCAF for the borough of Manhattan.

How MCAF Works
MCAF makes grants ranging from $750 to $5,000 to Manhattan-based individual artists, collectives, and small nonprofit organizations. The program supports performing, literary, media, and visual arts projects with a public component that is accessible to and engages Manhattan communities. Individual artists may apply directly to MCAF without a fiscal sponsor.

Application Deadline: September 16, 2014

Complete applications must be received by LMCC by 5PM on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. This includes the online application and printed supporting documents. Applicants will be notified by email in February 2015 whether their projects have been funded.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it is seeking grant proposals to award up to $1.5 million in grant funding to for-profit and non-profit service providers including, but not limited to, universities, trade and professional associations, firms, and other organizations for special projects to promote the development, success, and long-term survival of small disadvantaged businesses that participate in the agency's 8(a) Business Development Program.

The SBA expects to award 6-10 grants in the range of $150,000-$250,000, and that up to two awards may be made to small businesses. Applications will be accepted through July 20, 2014, and awards will be issued by September 30, 2014.

Under this initiative, grants will be made to service providers to enable them to make unique management and technical assistance services available to eligible small businesses that are approved by the SBA to receive services. Specifically, SBA is seeking unique and innovative projects to provide specialized training, executive education, and tools to promote business development of eligible firms. However, grants cannot be used by small businesses themselves as a source of funding to grow or otherwise expand their individual enterprises.

John Shoraka, Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development, noted that "One key strategic goal of the SBA is to genuinely broaden and deepen entrepreneurial education and counseling resources for small businesses." He added "This initiative is directly linked to that goal. The services we are now looking for will increase opportunities for potentially high-growth small businesses, especially small firms that do business with the government."

Through these projects, the SBA intends to increase the range of services available to eligible firms by addressing many issues facing them including, but not limited to:

  • teaming with other businesses;
  • mastering the process of federal contracting;
  • reversing declines and turning around businesses; and
  • securing loan financing or private equity funding.

To submit a proposal for funding under this initiative, an applicant:

  • may be a for-profit or not-for-profit entity (including, but not limited to small businesses; other-than small businesses; trade and professional associations, and educational institutions);
  • must have been in existence continually for at least three years;
  • must demonstrate substantive experience dealing with issues relating to small business; and,
  • must demonstrate that it has the capacity to provide assistance to small businesses.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan traveled to Columbus, Ohio today to announce that four communities will receive a combined $119.7 million to redevelop severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing and bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to blighted areas. HUD is awarding Choice Neighborhoods Initiativeimplementation grants to stakeholder groups in Columbus, Ohio; Norwalk, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in order to begin the process of transforming, rehabilitating and preserving public housing and privately owned HUD-assisted housing.

As part of HUD's overall plan for revitalizing neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, Choice Neighborhoods funds are intended to transform distressed public and assisted housing into sustainable, mixed-income housing with connection to key assets and services and to support positive outcomes for families living in the development and in the neighborhood.

"HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative supports local visions for how to transform high-poverty, distressed communities into neighborhoods of opportunity," said Donovan. "By working together, with local and state partners we will show why neighborhoods should always be defined by their potential - not their problems. Together, we will work to ensure that no child's future is determined by their zip code and expand opportunity for all."

HUD received 44 applications for implementation grants. The following applicants will receive a combined total of nearly $120 million in award from the FY13 competition funds (read a complete summary of each grant):

StateAwardee/Co-AwardeeCityAmount
OhioColumbus Metropolitan Housing AuthorityColumbus$29,700,000
ConnecticutHousing Authority of the City of Norwalk/Norwalk Redevelopment AgencyNorwalk$30,000,000
PennsylvaniaCity of Philadelphia, Office of Housing & Community Development/Philadelphia Housing AuthorityPhiladelphia$30,000,000
PennsylvaniaHousing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh/City of PittsburghPittsburgh$30,000,000

Building on the successes of HUD's HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements to create neighborhoods of opportunity.

HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is one of the signature programs of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which supports innovative and inclusive strategies that bring public and private partners together to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. It encourages collaboration between HUD and the Departments of Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services to support local solutions for sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools all families need. Choice Neighborhoods also contributes to the President's Promise Zones initiative, which will revitalize up to 20 of America's highest-poverty communities by creating jobs, attracting private investment, increasing economic activity, expanding educational opportunity, and reducing violent crime.

Congress approved the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative with the passage of HUD's Fiscal Year 2010 budget. Funding is provided through two separate programs - Implementation Grants and Planning Grants. In 2011, HUD awarded its first Choice Implementation grants for Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle, a combined $122.27 million investment to bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to blighted areas in these cities. With today's announcement, HUD has awarded more than $350 million in Choice Implementation Grants since 2011.