Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
10.420 Rural Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance
RURAL HOUSING SERVICE (RHS), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Housing Act of 1949, as amended, Section 523, Public Laws 89-117 and 89-754, 42 U.S.C. 1490c.
To provide Self Help Technical Assistance Grants to provide financial assistance to qualified nonprofit organizations and public bodies that will aid needy very low and low-income individuals and their families to build homes in rural areas by the self help method. Any State, political subdivision, private or public nonprofit corporation is eligible to apply. Section 523 Grants are used to pay salaries, rent, and office expenses of the nonprofit organization. Pre-development grants up to $10,000 may be available to qualified organizations.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Eligible organizations may use technical assistance funds to hire the personnel to carry out a technical assistance program for self-help housing in rural areas; to pay necessary and reasonable office and administrative expenses; to purchase or rent equipment such as power tools for use by families participating in self-help housing construction; and to pay fees for training self-help group members in construction techniques or for other professional services needed. Funds will not be used to hire personnel to perform any construction work, to buy real estate or building materials, or pay any debts, expenses or costs other than previously outlined for participating families in self-help projects.
Applicant Eligibility: Must be a State or political subdivision, public nonprofit corporation or a private nonprofit corporation. Assistance is authorized for eligible applicants in the United States, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas.
Pre-application Coordination: The State Director must request funding approval from the National office of all requests. A technical review and analysis must be completed by the Technical and Management Assistance (T&MA) contractor on all predevelopment, new, and existing (refunding) grant applications. In addition to the T&MA contractor's review, Agency personnel must also review and evaluate the feasibility of the grantee's request and make the appropriate recommendation. The level of National office review will be based on the amount of the grant. For grant requests under $300,000 the State Director should submit: (1) the analysis from the T&MA contractor; (2) statement indicating whether or not the grant recipient will be working in Empowerment Zones (EZ), Enterprise Communities (EC) or Rural Economic Area Partnerships (REAP) and census tract designation of area; (3) the State Director's recommendation; (4) a copy of the conditions to be met; (5) a copy of From RD 1940-1, "Request for Obligation of Funds;" and (6) if the grantee is a marginal performer, specific information showing actions to correct performance. For grant requests that equal or exceed $300,000, the complete application docket along with a statement indicating whether the grant recipient will be working in an EZ, EC, REAP or tribal community, must be sent to the National office. $34 million has been appropriated for section 523 Mutual and Self-Help Technical Assistance grants. Of these funds, $1 million is earmarked for EZ, EC or REAP communities. All section 523 grants will be obligated in the National office. This will enable the National office staff to monitor fund utilization. For section 523 mutual and self-help site loans and section 524 RH site loans, State Directors are responsible for developing an outreach program to increase public awareness of these programs. The State Director must request funding authority from the national office prior to obligating loan funds. Preapplication Coordination: The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by Departmental Regulations 3015 and 3016 must be used for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102.
Formula and Matching Requirements: None.
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: Quarterly progress reports are to be made to the RHS\RD District Office.
Account Identification: 12-2006-0-1-604.
There were 98 grants made in fiscal year 2001.
REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:
7 CFR Subpart I of Part 1944; Chapter XVIII; RD Instruction 1944-I, "Self-Help Technical Assistance Grants"; (PA 1254) (no charge).
Regional or Local Office: See Regional Agency Offices. Consult your local telephone directory under Department of Agriculture for Rural Development county or district office numbers or visit the website http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app for a State Office listing.
EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:
An example of a funded project is Self-Help Enterprises, Visalia, California and the City of Casa Grande, Casa Grande, and Arizona.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:
The criteria for selecting proposals are the evidence of a clearly defined need in an area for mutual self-help housing and the families in the area cannot afford or obtain a modest house by customary methods, and the applicant possesses the expertise to provide the technical assistance (TA) required.