USDOT Grants for Rural & Tribal Communities
The Notice of Funding Opportunity for a new pilot program for technical assistance has opened this week. The Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program offers technical assistance grants to rural and tribal communities. The NOFO combines two years of funding (Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023), $3.4 million in total, to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Individual awards will range in value up to the statutory limit of $360,000. There is no local funding match required to participate in this program. The grants may be used to hire staff or advisors to assist with early development-phase activities including, but not limited to, feasibility studies; preliminary engineering and design; environmental review; revenue forecasting; financial feasibility analysis; statutory and regulatory analysis and drafting and negotiation of agreements. Eligible applicants include local governments or political subdivisions with projects located outside of an urbanized area with a population of more than 150,000 residents as determined by the Census; state governments applying on behalf of a project in an area outside an urbanized area of more than 150,000 residents; federally recognized Indian Tribes; and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. As part of the Administration’s commitment to advancing equity and opportunity for all American Indians and Alaska Natives, the Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program will set aside up to $800,000 for each fiscal year for Tribal applicants. The Build America Bureau has created a simple, four-page funding application, available here, and will begin accepting submissions at 2 PM ET on August 14, 2023. The Department of Transportation hosted a free informational webinar to provide more information for interested applicants and a recording of the webinar and a copy of the presentation will be made available here. While participation in the webinar is not mandatory to receive funding, it is encouraged and provides an opportunity for potential applicants to learn about the application process and what activities can be funded through this pilot program. The Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program joins the Thriving Communities Program, the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators and other new technical assistance opportunities at DOT to ensure communities have the needed tools to access federal funding and financing for transformative infrastructure projects. Additional DOT technical assistance resources can be found on the DOT Navigator. This information is provided by the Federal Highway Administration Office of Tribal Transportation.
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