Thursday, November 5, 2015

Funding and Financing Opportunities

Rural LISC, Helping Neighbors Build Communities

KaBOOM! Is offering grants to communities across the United States to design a community playground in a day. Deadline: 11/13/2015. Click here to learn more about the initiative and to apply.
USDA is offering grants to public food program service providers, tribal organizations, and private nonprofit entities through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program. The program seeks to encourage healthy eating and physical activity at the individual and community levels, focusing on high-risk groups, and promotes healthy diet and physical activity behaviors. Deadline to apply: 11/30/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

THE AGSTAR FUND FOR RURAL AMERICA is offering grants to nonprofit organizations in the service area where AgStar has a significant business presence in Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. The Fund focuses its giving program in the following four major areas: education, environment, technology, and quality of life.Deadline: 11/30/2015. Visit the AgStar website here to review the funding guidelines and application instructions.
Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are accepting applications for community grants. Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded in support of projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Deadline: 12/10/2015. Click here to review funding guidelines.

THE LAURA BUSH FOUNDATION FOR AMERICA'S LIBRARIES is offering grants of up to $7,000 to update, extend, and diversify the book collections of pre-K-12 school libraries throughout the United States. Only schools where a minimum of 85 percent of the student body qualifies for the federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program are eligible to apply. Deadline: 12/14/2015. Online application information is available on the Foundation’s website here.
Alaska Conservation Foundation is accepting Letters of Intent for projects promoting Native Alaskan values. Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to organizations or individuals working in the areas of climate change, food security, sustainable economies, energy, or holistic wellness. Deadline for letters of intent:12/15/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund has released the Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA) for the calendar year (CY) 2015 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program). The NOAA makes up to $5 billion in tax credit allocation authority available for the CY 2015 round, pending Congressional authorization. Deadline to apply:12/16/2015. Click here for application materials and funding guidelines.
USDA is offering grants to support projects that increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the implementation of the project. Deadline: 12/16/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.
USDA is offering funds to nonprofit and public organizations to provide technical assistance that will reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources in rural areas, and improve planning and management of solid waste sites in rural areas. Rural areas and towns with 10,000 or fewer people are eligible to apply. Deadline: 12/31/2015. Clickhere to review program guidelines and access application materials.

THE UMPQUA BANK CHARITABLE FOUNDATION is offering funding to nonprofit organizations that enhance the quality of life in the communities the bank serves in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The Foundation provides Community Giving Grants in the following target giving areas: The Youth Development and Education area focuses on programs that create opportunities for early childhood and K-12 youth that fulfill their educational experience, promote their well-being, and inspire them to reach their full potential. The Economic Opportunity area focuses on organizations that promote stability in neighborhoods through assistance to low-to-moderate income individuals and families. Deadline: 12/31/2015. Visit Umpqua Bank’s website here for more information.
THE CITIZENS' INSTITUTE ON RURAL DESIGN™ (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural communities interested in applying for funding to host a community design workshop in either 2016 or 2017. Deadline: 1/12/2016. Visit the website here for funding guidelines.  

Training Events and Conferences

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is offering a free webinar, “Innovations in Rural Housing”, on Thursday, November 5, 2015at 3:00 PM ET. The webinar will highlight several innovative partnerships and programs working to improve rural housing opportunities in some of the country’s poorest and most difficult-to-serve regions. Click here to register.

HUD multifamily affordable housing preservation clinics are available and open for registration in Chicago, Illinois on November 3, 2015, and Columbus, Ohio onNovember 9, 2015.  Click here to register for Chicago, and click here to register for Columbus. Training for the mid-Atlantic region will be held in Washington, D.C. onDecember 9, but is not yet open for registration. Trainings will also be held in Jacksonville, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia, but have not yet been scheduled.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is hosting a webinar, “Community Development from the Ground Up: An Innovative Approach in Baltimore’s Oliver Neighborhood”, on November 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM ET.  Like many urban neighborhoods, Oliver suffered a decline over several decades. Today, signs of hope, progress and financial investment abound in Oliver, thanks in part to a market-driven approach to building houses, businesses and community. Click here to learn more about the webinar and to register.

"Intent vs. Impact: Evaluating Individual- and Community-Based Programs", a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, in partnership with the Department of Economics at Southern Methodist University for researchers, policymakers and community practitioners, will be held November 16–17, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. Click here to register. 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is jointly hosting a webinar with theFederal Reserve Bank of Dallas on November 18, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30 PM ET, focusing on LISC’s Healthy Futures Funding and social impact investing. Click herefor additional information and to register.  
Novogradac 2016 Tax Developers Conference will be held January 7-8, 2016 at the Eden Roc Hotel in, Miami, Florida.  Click here for an agenda and to register.

Information and Other Resources
HUD has published a summary report that covers needs, barriers, and experiences with aging in place, and feasibility of programs to support independence for rural seniors. It includes discussion of emerging trends and potential service models. Get the report here.

“The HOME Investment Partnerships Program’s Impact on America’s Families and Communities” is a report from the HOME Coalition published by Enterprise Partners that analyzes the program’s economic impact in all 50 states and features over 100 HOME success stories from communities across the nation. Get the report here.

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has released its September report on FY15 USDA Rural Housing program obligations. Click on the link here to read HAC's report.

"Spending Turnaround at USDA Is Good News for Rural Families" is the title of an article by Bob Rapoza on USDA Section 502 spending in FY 2015, published by Government Executive. Read the piece here.
The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation has released "Planning for a More Resilient Future: A Guide to Regional Approaches", a report that summarizes the rapidly-growing body of research on resilience, describing the main ideas that are driving policy and practice across the country and examining current thinking on regional and economic resilience. It is intended for regional development organizations as well as local governments, community foundations, voluntary organizations, and others who step forward as planners, conveners, organizers, fundraisers, mediators, coordinators, and advocates on behalf of communities impacted by, or at risk of being impacted by, disasters, natural and human-induced. To explore the publication and the companion website, click here.

HUD posted an article in Evidence Matters on how local initiatives, with the support of federal policies and national nonprofits, address unique barriers to homeownership in Indian Country. Residents of Indian Country face a diverse set of housing challenges, including overcrowding, high cost burdens, and a lack of affordable, high-quality housing options for both renters and homeowners. Initiatives seek to overcome these obstacles to homeownership by supporting infrastructure development and home construction and rehabilitation, increasing access to mortgage credit, cultivating financial literacy, and providing direct financial assistance to homebuyers. Read the article here.

National Association of Development Organizations has published “Creating Opportunity and Prosperity Through Strengthening Rural-Urban Connections”. The brief highlights examples in which regional development organizations can benefit from linking rural regions with urban centers, and includes information on broadband development and its implication for improving access to healthcare services. Click here for a free copy.

National Rural Housing Coalition posted a blog recently highlighting the National Farmworker Jobs Program. The post discusses how two organizations, The Office of Rural and Farmworking Housing (ORFH), in Yakima, Washington, and Self-Help Enterprises in Visalia, California, have utilized the funds to provide housing for farmworkers. Read the post here.

HUD posted a case study on its website about Quixote Village, a self-governed community of chronically homeless people with 30 cottages and communal space in Olympia, Washington. The project was awarded a 2015 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence for its innovative approach to providing permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless adults. Read about how Quixote Village came into being here.

The Urban Institute and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have published a report, “Housing Policy Levers to Promote Economic Mobility”. According to the authors, tax policy, rental assistance, fair housing, and homeownership programs all could help boost economic mobility, if they were better designed, enforced, and funded. Get a copy of the report here.

The Orton Family Foundation’s revised and updated Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide is available as a free download. The new Field Guide to Orton’s signature community development process features more tools and resources, refinements to the process, more success stories and new tips to give local leaders and volunteers what they need to bring the Foundation’s proven resident driven community development method to their towns. Download a copy here today and get started along the path to a stronger, more vibrant community.
A new report from the Carsey School of Public Policy finds that although child poverty declined in 2014, persistent racial and ethnic disadvantages remain. Child poverty declined in all place types, with the largest decline occuring in rural America, where the rate fell by a full percentage point. Download the brief here.
An article in Next City“Building Healthier Communities With Homegrown Foodies”, talks about a farmer’s market that works  with the Communities for Healthy Food program, a partnership between the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) New York City and community development corporations with deep roots in their neighborhoods—two in Brooklyn, one in the Bronx, and another in Harlem. Read the article here.

The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship has put together an overview of the Center's resources in support of community development philanthropy. "The Community Development Philanthropy Overview Guide" spotlights the growing set of resources that the Center offers and their new partnership with the Aspen Institute's Community Strategy Group. Get the guide here.  

An article in the Daily Yonder, “Rural Home-Purchase Loans Grow at Faster Rate than Urban”, states that the number of rural loan applications fell last year because of a big decline in refinancing. However loan applications for home purchases grew by nearly 7 percent, even higher than the national increase. Also on the rise in rural areas were higher-interest loans, which are especially common for manufactured housing purchases. Read the article here.

HUD has released a webcast that provides an overview of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). Participants will learn the legal basis for AFFH, and the requirements under the recently released rule. View the webcast here. View the AFFH Final Rule pagehere.  
Rural LISC works with 71 partner organizations creating sustainable rural communities across 42 states. Visit our website here and sign up for the Rural LISC RSS feed here. If this email was forwarded to you and you would like to sign up to receive the Rural e-News each month, click here.   

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