Grant/Loan Programs

There are a number of grant programs available in a wide variety of community development categories in addition to the CDBG program.  MCRPC is available to help provide information about these programs, as well as assisting municipalities in applying for funding.   The following summaries are several of the more frequently used programs.  As noted above, more information on these programs is available at MCRPC or by checking the links provided below.  

An excellent overall resource for finding a particular grant to address a particular need is the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Access Guide (www.ruralpa.org/access.cfm)

PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) – Funding and Program Finder web site(http://www.newpa.com/programFinder.aspx)

Main Street and Elm Street Programs

Main Street Program

The Main Street Manager Component is a five-year program designed to help a community’s downtown economic development effort through the establishment of a local organization dedicated to downtown revitalization and the management of downtown revitalization efforts by hiring a full-time professional downtown coordinator.

The Downtown Reinvestment and Anchor Building components use business district strategies to support eligible commercial related projects located within a central or neighborhood business district. This program has been merged into the New Communities Program.

Elm Street Program

The Elm Street Component of the New Communities Program will allow communities to integrate a Main Street or downtown revitalization program with a neighborhood renewal strategy. The Elm Street program is designed to provide assistance and resources to those mixed use and residential areas in proximity to central business districts, to further enhance the downtown area and to improve the viability of older neighborhoods.

Transportation Enhancement Program

Community Revitalization Program – Promotes local initiatives to improve community and enhance local economic conditions and/or business districts. It is suggested that applicants request funding between $5,000 and $50,000.

Community Conservation Partnership Program – Provides state and federal grant dollars to help fund Community Recreation, Land Trusts, Rails-to-Trails, Rivers Conservation and Recreational Trails projects. These components are combined into a yearly application cycle and a single application format and process reducing paperwork for the applicant.

PENNVEST– Municipalities, authorities, and some private entities are eligible for drinking water and wastewater project funding. Offers twenty year, and sometimes 30 year loans to municipalities or authorities, and some private entities, at interest rates below those which they would receive on the open market (generally between one and five percent depending upon the borrower’s financial conditions). For communities extremely distressed financially, PENNVEST also offers limited grants.

Rural Utilities Service (RUS) – The Rural Utilities Service offers a number of programs. Several are briefly described below:

Community Facilities – Grants and Loans to develop essential rural community facilities in areas of up to 20,000 in population. Funds may be used to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and public services. This can include costs to acquire land for a facility, pay professional fees, or purchase operating equipment.

Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants – Direct loans may be made to develop water and wastewater systems, including solid waste disposal and storm drainage, in rural areas and to cities and towns with a population of 10,000 or less. Priority will be given to public entities, in areas with less than 5,500 people, to restore a deteriorating water supply, or to improve, enlarge, or modify a water facility or an inadequate waste facility. Preference will be given to requests which involve the merging or small facilities and those serving low-income communities. Grants may be given to reduce water and waste disposal costs to a reasonable level for users of the system. Grants may be made, in some instances, up to 75 percent of eligible project costs. Eligible applicants are the same as for loans.

Keystone Historic Preservation Grants-This grant promotes the preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of historic resources which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and which is open to the public. Eligible applicants include local governments, conservancies, historic preservation organizations, historic societies, museums, and religious institutions.

Other Grant Resources