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Rural Community Development Initiative Grants (RCDI)


Additional Links

Fact Sheet
Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Mar 22, 2021

Sponsoring Organization

USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)


Awards funds to intermediary organizations that then offer financial and technical assistance for recipients to develop the skills and capabilities needed to complete housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Intermediaries can be nonprofit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized tribes.

Funds can be used for:

  • Training sub-recipients to perform home-ownership and minority business entrepreneur education
  • Offering sub-recipients technical assistance related to:
    • Strategic planning development
    • Accessing diverse sources of funding
    • Board training
    • Creating effective child care facilities
    • Developing training tools, for example videos, workbooks, and reference guides
    • Fundraising strategies

Additional consideration will be given to projects that help high-risk rural communities decrease morbidity and fatalities related to substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), through community, county, state, and regional capacity building efforts in the following areas:

  • Prevention - including educating communities and providers and implementing harm reduction tactics, such as the strategic storage of overdose reversing devices like naloxone, to decrease the prevalence of SUD and substance-related overdose deaths
  • Treatment - including administering or increasing access to evidence-based SUD treatment practices like medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Recovery - including increasing initiation and retention rates in recovery services by expanding options for peer recovery and treatment

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $250,000
Award floor: $50,000
Project period: 3 years
Estimated number of awards: 30
Estimated total program funding: $6,000,000

Applicants must provide matching funds equal to or greater than the federal grant amount. Matching contributions must be a cash match or a confirmed funding commitment. In-kind funds may not be used.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • Qualified private organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations and philanthropic foundations
  • Nonprofit community-based housing and development organizations
  • Low-income rural communities
  • Federally recognized tribes

Funding recipients and beneficiaries, but not the intermediary, must be located in an eligible rural area. The physical location of the recipient's office that will be receiving the financial and technical assistance must be in an eligible rural area. If the recipient is a low-income community, the median household income of the area where the office is located must be at or below 80% of the state or national median household income, whichever is higher.

Under this funding opportunity, rural and rural area is defined as any area other than:

  • A city or town with a population greater than 50,000 residents
  • An urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town with a population greater than 50,000 residents

To determine if a specific address is designated as rural for this funding opportunity, check eligible addresses using the Rural Business Services Property Eligibility Tool.

Eligible intermediaries must have been legally organized for a minimum of 3 years and have at least 3 years' experience working with private nonprofit community-based housing and development organizations, low-income rural communities, or tribal organizations in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Capacity Building

Application Process

Application requirements, instructions, and other relevant information can be found in the funding announcement.


For program questions:
Contact the appropriate USDA Rural Development state office.

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Economic Development • Education and Training • Healthcare Facilities • Housing and Homelessness • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) • Opioids • Prevention • Recovery • Social Services • Substance Use Disorder • Treatment