Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grants are awarded to help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized tribes support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. PRT and PRT Partners strongly encourage USDA to consider an increase of up to $1 million per awardee for regional and national organizations and $500,000 per awardee for local and statewide organizations. The Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Grants have served as a critical source of funding for several Partners of PRT.
Given the unique investment and funding challenges in each Partner’s region, flexible funds have proven to be essential in accomplishing the work that needs to be done by mission-based lending institutions like the Partners. RCDI Grants have allowed our Partners to do incredible work that goes above the bare minimum of just lending. Because RCDI is a flexible funding source, PRT Partner staff can provide nuanced technical assistance, capacity development, and training to support rural, low-income communities and holistically address several aspects of a community’s needs to foster self-sufficiency and overall community development.
RCDI resources are vital in building the capacity of rural nonprofit housing and community development organizations throughout the country. And while the dollar-for-dollar match requirement is difficult, increasing the RCDI dollar award caps would increase the additional match that would flow into those communities. Due to the pandemic, RCDI is more important than ever to help these nonprofits maintain services to their communities during this demanding period. Grantees have experienced economic challenges, ranging from significant reductions in operating budgets, losses in earned revenue, and difficulties with fundraising efforts.
We support increasing these award caps to $1 million per awardee for regional and national organizations and $500,000 per awardee for local and statewide organizations because rural and Indigenous communities, partner organizations, and local community groups benefit directly from the RCDI funding.
Read PRT’s comments on this excellent news here.