DCTA Program Resources

Resources, guides, tools, and reports, including upcoming and prerecorded webinars, are provided to support Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) recipients and smaller distressed communities and municipalities. Each section features COVID-19 related information and links to the various resources.

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Resources and Guidance

General Resources and Guidance

Basically CDBG for States - Support to Implement State CDBG Programs

This training manual developed by HUD guides and assists State CDBG grantees in the implementation of their programs and covers topics including: national objectives, eligible activities, administration, financial management, and other federal requirements.

CDBG-DR General Overview

This overview of the CDBG Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program by HUD includes a brief synopsis of the history of the program, a summary of the objectives of the program, the rules and requirements of the program, and a summary of the process for implementing disaster recovery activities. View the CDBG-DR page on the HUD Exchange for more information.

HUD Community Resilience Toolkit

This toolkit by HUD assists communities in enhancing their resilience to climate-related natural hazard risks. Local governments can use the toolkit to identify natural hazard risks and resilience actions that can be integrated into existing programs.

HUD Disaster Resources

This list of disaster resources by HUD provides partners with federal and state agencies to help implement disaster recovery assistance.

ICDBG Information and Resources

This overview by HUD provides resources related to the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program, which provides eligible grantees with direct grants for use in developing viable Indian and Alaska Native Communities, including decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities, primarily for low- and moderate-income persons.

HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH)

This resource by HUD’s OLHCHH provides information, resources, webinars, and more, including grant opportunities, to help states and local governments develop cost-effective ways to reduce lead-based paint hazards.

State CDBG Information and Resources

This overview by HUD provides resources related to the State CDBG program, which offers grants to non-entitlement areas (cities with a population less than 50,000 and counties with a population less than 200,000) for housing, community services, and job retention.


This relaunched website by PolicyLink includes new briefs, videos, and resources that examine the intersection of arts, culture, and equitable development. The website also shares how community development goals can be reached through the integration of arts and culture in partnership with non-arts organizations.

Creative Placemaking Public Resources Guide

The National Assembly of Arts Agencies, in partnership with ArtPlace America, Metris Arts Consulting, and the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Agencies, created this practical how-to guide as a useful first step in making federal funding more accessible to creative placemaking practitioners. This resource guide contains a wide array of federal funding resources that go beyond typical arts grants to encompass various aspects of creative placemaking. Its creators encourage practitioners to think about how arts and culture intersect with sectors such as housing, entrepreneurship, environmental conservation, transportation, and others as a method for exploring the opportunities listed in the guide.

Guide to Federal Housing and Community Development Programs for Small Towns and Rural Areas

This guide by the Housing Assistance Council provides brief descriptions on the uses of program funds and eligibility requirements for federal housing and development programs administered by the USDA Rural Development (RD), HUD, and others, as well as contacts for further information about each program.

HAC News

This news feed by the Housing Assistance Council provides national and local housing-related resources and information from a rural lens. HAC News Includes national program and policy updates, summaries of Federal Register filings, findings from recent research reports, and much more.

How Do We Get More Small-Scale Developers

This Action Guide from Strong Towns explains the difference between small and large scale developers and the import role small developers and incremental projects can play in city growth. This two-page simple guide offers tips for cities who want to start growing a network of small-scale developers.

Strong Towns Action Lab

This resource by Strong Towns provides connections to resources, including information, tools, how-to guides, and examples, along with connections to people in nearby communities, discussion forums, and local meeting resources. Explore the resources by topic, search for something specific, or start a conversation in the community forum.

USDA Rural Development Programs and Funding Opportunities

This webpage by USDA Rural Development provides a list of all programs available to small counties, cities, and municipalities. This list of programs is searchable by state and topic, and each program name in the list is a link to a description of the program, the funding status, application deadlines, eligibility criteria, contact information, and instructions on how to apply.

Webinars and Events

Previously Recorded Webinars and Events

HUD's Responding to COVID-19 webinar series presents resources for small units of general local government (UGLGs) related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the webinars provide digestible information on how small UGLGs may access public funding, data, and other resources made available due to the pandemic.

This webinar series consists of a total of six sessions spread across three topic areas. The topic areas are: housing, health, and economic development. The following recordings are posted:

Using State CDBG to Promote Economic Development Webinar

In this HUD webinar, presenters provide an overview of how to use State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to promote economic development.

HUD sponsored

COVID-19 Cost Recovery: Ways to Maximize Federal Funding

On February 25, 2021, NACo hosted this webinar in which the Hagerty Consulting team discusses ongoing response and recovery challenges and offers potential solutions by outlining recent federal policy changes, current federal funding opportunities, and tangible ways to jumpstart your community’s financial recovery process. While the maze of federal funding can be difficult to navigate, planning your cost recovery now will help maximize federal reimbursement opportunities in the future.

Follow the Data on the Pathway to Recovery

On February 18, 2021, NACo hosted a webinar in which nationally recognized Treasurer Scott German of Genesee County, NY discusses how he has maximized the value of Genesee County's cash through liquidity data and treasury service monitoring. Learn how to leverage technology and follow data findings to ensure every tax dollar is being maximized and to optimize short- and long-term cash performance.

Announcing the NACo Managed Cybersecurity Solution

On February 10, 2021, NACo hosted this webinar that explains the partnership NACo has forged with industry leading cybersecurity providers NuHarbor Security, Splunk, and Tenable to provide a comprehensive strategy to county Information Security Programs. This program and partnership maximizes the cost and operational efficiency of leading-edge software solutions and the efficiency of county resource utilization, and will uphold the highest cybersecurity standards.

Federal Resources for Creative Community Development

On February 9, 2021, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, in collaboration with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, hosted a webinar designed to help communities access federal funds and harness the power of arts and culture to achieve community development goals. The webinar also helps participants navigate the new Creative Placemaking Public Resources Guide which helps community development practitioners, artists, and arts and cultural organizations survey the landscape and decode the language of federal government funding opportunities that might support creative placemaking efforts.

Fighting Food Insecurity during COVID-19 and Beyond: Key Updates for County Leaders

On February 5, 2021, NACo hosted a webinar featuring county leaders, congressional staff, and national experts who discussed how emergency COVID-19 legislation can help counties combat food insecurity and the implications it may have for national anti-hunger policy moving forward.

NACo Webinar Series: Vaccine Management Solutions for Local Governments

On February 5, 2021, NACo hosted a webinar highlighting effective technology solutions for county vaccination management, with a focus on Microsoft’s solution which addresses unforeseen challenges that have emerged from the initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Microsoft’s dedicated COVID Response Team detailed their approach to solving problems in the quickest and most flexible way to ensure that jurisdictions and service providers can adjust quickly to changing situations.

County Eviction Series: Solutions from Across the Country

On February 4, 2021, NACo hosted a webinar demonstrating how county governments are assisting vulnerable residents whose housing and financial stability are at heightened risk due to COVID-19. Hear directly from county leaders on challenges and solutions to the evictions crisis, including county programming and support for children and families.

Path Forward: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout at the State Level

On February 3, 2021, as part of Path Forward: Navigating the Return to Work webinar series hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Suzanne Clark, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sat down with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice to discuss the unique approach they’ve taken to distribution and administration, what other states can learn from their success, and what businesses can learn from how they’re engaging the private sector.

State of the State

On January 25 – 27, 2021, Route Fifty hosted a series of events where experts spoke about how the Coronavirus will continue to drive the work of state governments in the coming year.

COVID-19 Rental Assistance Webinar Series

  • A Playbook for Immediate Deadlines and Program Implementation: On January 8, 2021, NACo introduced its first installment of their two-part COVID-19 Rental Assistance Webinar series. In response to the new $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, Witt O’Brien’s experts outline the immediate steps counties should take when evaluating whether to opt-in to receive the reserved allocation, developing strategies for immediate actions ahead of receiving funds, and designing the framework for a successful program.
  • A Playbook for Program Implementation: On January 15, 2021, NACo hosted the second installment of its COVID-19 Rental Assistance webinar series. This webinar, featuring experts from Witt O’Brien’s, further outlines strategies for action and a framework for designing a successful program.

NLIHC National Call: Coronavirus, Housing, and Homelessness

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition hold weekly national calls entitled “Coronavirus, Housing, and Homelessness” that featured updates from national, state, and local advocates and service providers working to assist people experiencing homelessness, low-income households, and members of marginalized communities, all of whom are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recordings and slides from all past sessions are posted on the NLIHC website.

Eight calls have been held and recorded so far in 2021. Several of these sessions are highlighted below:

  • On February 22, participants discussed the impact of the Texas winter storm on homeless populations, the Right to Council efforts around the country, and strategies for using FEMA EO to expand eligibility to people in long-term care facilities. Additionally, updates from the field, updates on the Eviction Moratorium and Emergency Rental Assistance program, and updates on new housing and homelessness resources in the next COVID relief bill were shared.
  • On February 1, participants received updates from the field, from Capitol Hill, and updates on the CDC Eviction Moratorium and Emergency Rental Assistance programs, as well as revised estimates of rent and utilities arrears. Participants discussed the potential impact of utility disconnection and eviction moratorium on COVID infections and mortality, along with state and local strategies to protect tenants during the pandemic.
  • On January 4, participants discussed the COVID relief bill and next steps, received information about addressing family homelessness during COVID-19, and heard field updates from four national partners. Working groups also provided updates and next steps.

E104: Grow with Google: Helping Jobseekers Kickstart Their Careers in High-Demand Fields

In December 2020, Workforce Central, the official podcast of the National Association of Workforce Boards, hosted Christian Michael, Program Manager for Grow with Google, to discuss the work that Google is doing to create opportunities for nontraditional talent to kickstart their career in high demand fields, including IT.

Enhancing Fiscal Resilience in a Disruptive Environment: What We’ve Learned and What’s Next

On December 18, 2020, NACo hosted a webinar where KPMG and county officials discussed different approaches to enhance resilience in light of shifting public health, economic, budgetary and community dynamics – and how the difficult lessons of 2020 can help counties navigate a still uncertain 2021 outlook.

Sustainability and the Path to Equity

On August 5, 2020, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted a webinar to explore how communities, NGOs, and the private sector can work together to create a more sustainable economy that delivers environmental justice and creates opportunity for all.

Deferring Program Fees: COVID-19 Considerations

On July 8, 2020, this webinar by Grounded Solutions Network unpacked why, when, and how some homeownership programs with lasting affordability are seeking ways to support their homeowners in this challenging time. The webinar discussed reasons why some programs are deferring or waiving monthly ground lease and other program fees, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rural Resilience: Hurricanes, Wildfire, and COVID-19

On June 24, 2020, the Rural Assembly and Daily Yonder held a webinar to share how disaster preparedness and response continues in communities dealing with wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme weather, all while also feeling the impacts of a pandemic. A video and transcript of the webinar are available.

Maximizing Value on Every Public Dollar During and After COVID-19

On June 24, 2020, NACo held a webinar focused on how counties can use liquidity analyses and data to maximize the value on current tax dollars and any CARES Act funding received and review ways to look under every stone for taxpayer benefit.

Local Strategies for Housing, Wealth, and Job Equity Webinar Series

On June 17 – July 24, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Reinventing Our Communities (ROC) Local hosted a series of 11 webinars which are now available online. The series examines local solutions to housing, job, and wealth equity challenges. Leading researchers and practitioners provide expertise for community leaders on topics that include rethinking zoning, supporting small businesses, upskilling and reskilling, and affordable housing preservation. These webinars can help you frame, contextualize, and organize around challenges in your community.

Childcare and COVID-19: Federal Resources and Best Practices for County Governments

On June 17, 2020, NACo held a webinar focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on access to safe and affordable childcare, and what counties are doing to maintain the current supply of childcare and sustain childcare businesses upon reopening. Federal resources for childcare services during COVID-19 and what counties can do to maximize these services and ensure safe, healthy learning environments for young children were outlined. A copy of the presentation slide show is available.

The Health of Our Democracy: Voting During a Pandemic

On June 9, 2020, the Aspen Institute hosted a conversation on how states and local jurisdictions can execute a voting process that is secure, trusted, and safe.

How Community Development Organizations Change When They Embrace Arts and Culture

On May 13, 2020, Arts, Culture, and Community Development featured community-based organizations and the artists with whom they have partnered sharing stories and lessons learned from local strategies to build stronger connections with residents, create and enhance neighborhood identity and solidarity, and achieve better outcomes in local planning and policy. View PolicyLink’s brief, How Organizations Change When They Embrace Arts and Culture, that explores these themes and stories.

Rural Health and COVID-19

On May 12, 2020, Rural Health Information Hub hosted this webinar featuring a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide an overview of the rural health focused efforts by HHS and USDA and highlight specific tools and resources to help combat COVID-19. This page provides the recording, audio transcript, and presentation slides.

OLHCHH and Partners: Healthy Homes COVID-19 Webinars

On May 4 – 6, 2020, HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) and the National Healthy Homes Partnership at the University of Missouri presented three webinars on COVID-19 mitigation and disinfecting strategies for multifamily and public housing developments. These webinars and related handouts were presented in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control Waterborne Disease Branch (CDC WDB) and Washington State Department of Health.

FEMA Region II Preparedness and Resilience Webinars 2020

This catalog from FEMA Region II provides links to pre-recorded webinars held in 2020. Webinars are grouped by 14 topic areas offering guidance on a wide array of individual and community awareness, preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience concerns.

Accessory Dwelling Units Webinar

On May 29, 2019, LISC hosted a webinar where two Rubinger Fellows spoke about how they’re leveraging Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in their unique markets. Affordable housing is becoming increasingly hard to find throughout many growing cities around the country. ADUs offer an alternative to customary housing units, taking the form of basement apartments, living units above the garage, new detached units, or 'tiny houses' built in the backyard of an existing home.

Eviction Prevention Toolkit Webinar

On April 18, 2019, LISC hosted a webinar where Barbara Geries from Champlain Housing Trust and Harold Nassau from The Consortium for Housing Asset Management (CHAM) discussed the value of operating an Eviction Prevention Program (EPP), provided basic information about program structuring, and gave examples of existing programs.

Studies, Reports, and Tools

General Studies, Reports, and Tools

11 Terms You Should Know to Better Understand Structural Racism

This glossary by the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change describes terms related to structural racism and terms used to promote racial equity analysis. This resource was created by a group that worked with leading innovators to produce strong and reliable frameworks for successful and sustainable community change and development.

2020 FDIC Community Banking Study

In December 2020, the FDIC released a new large-scale study on the state of the nation’s community banks. The study documents the critical role community banks play in providing access to credit in several key areas of the U.S. economy, particularly through lending to support commercial real estate, small businesses, and agriculture.

Assess Capacity with SWOT Analysis

This tool offered on the HUD Exchange website guides you through a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis to collect and organize information to explore new opportunities, make decisions about new strategies, identify areas for change, and refine and redirect current efforts with new solutions. Factors include priority needs, market conditions, geographic targets, potential partners, and HUD resources.

Building Codes Save: A Nationwide Study of Loss Prevention

Culminating over 10 years of research, this FEMA publication highlights and reveals the high value of adopting and enforcing International Codes for hazard mitigation as a return on investment. A 12-page summary, Protecting Communities and Saving Money – The Case for Adopting Building Codes, as well as the full-study detailing this project—its methodology, results, and conclusions—are available on FEMA’s website.

Building Health: Lessons from Seven Years of the Healthy Futures Fund

A new retrospective examines lessons learned from the $180 million Health Futures Fund – a collaboration between The Kresge Foundation, LISC, and Morgan Stanley. From 2012 to 2019, the fund combined the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit to provide loans to community developers and award grants supporting project development. Thoughtful site selection, effective coordination among partners, and provision of trustworthy community services led to the most successful outcomes.

The Case for Opportunity Zone Investments in Rural Areas

The Opportunity Zones allow investors to benefit from the initiative's capital gains tax breaks, to make money, accomplish multi-generational long-term financial planning and diversify their portfolios away from equities. The tool has been underutilized in rural areas, despite the potential these areas hold.

CDFIs and the Capital Markets: Tapping into Impact Investors

LISC conducted an analysis of the CDFI industry’s initial forays into the capital markets on a rated basis, and examined how CDFIs can expand their role as trusted intermediaries for capital investment in people and places where disparities in health, employment, wealth and financial security, and overall quality of life have stemmed from a lack of capital access.

Civic Assets for More Equitable Cities

The Urban Institute recently released a new report that draws out valuable lessons learned from Reimagining the Civic Commons, a philanthropy-funded national initiative focused on reviving shared civic assets—parks, libraries, plazas, recreational centers, and more—into places that have the power to foster engagement, equity, environmental sustainability, and economic development.

Clearinghouse for Environmental Finance

This resource from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes the EPA's Air; Land; and Water Finance Clearinghouses which are web‐based portals that provide resource information to bolster community services and improvements related to Land Management, Air Quality, and Water Infrastructure.

Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems: A Playbook

This Playbook, published October 2020 by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, provides practical, action-oriented aid to help communities follow the Guide’s six-step process. It can assist communities seeking insights into resilience planning issues and help identify the most effective resilience-improvement projects.

County-level Data Sets from USDA

Socioeconomic indicators like poverty rates, population change, unemployment rates, and education levels vary geographically across U.S. States and counties. USDA ERS compiles the latest data on these measures and provides maps, data displays, and data downloads in Excel format for states and counties.

Disaster Help Desk for Business

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is offering businesses and chambers a call in number 1-888-My-Biz-Help (888-692-4943) for direct support from disaster recovery experts as well as a digital contact via their help desk form.

Distressed Communities Index

The Economic Innovation Group released the Distressed Communities Index (DCI), a timely research project that maps community well-being across the country down to the zip code scale. The report is accompanied by a digital mapping interactive that allows users to explore all of the data included in the DCI across zip codes, counties, and congressional districts.

Fahe Members Partner Nationally to Bring Financial Opportunity and Digital Inclusion to North Central West Virginia

Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA) and Homeownership Center partners with Highland Community Builders (HBC) and Rural LISC to launch their Digital Navigator program and a Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) to serve the residents of Randolph, Barbour, Tucker, Upshur, and Lewis counties in West Virginia.

FCC Broadband Deployment Report

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has published the Fourteenth Broadband Deployment Report which reports on broadband deployment in the U.S., with information specific to broadband access in rural and tribal communities and the U.S. territories. The report also includes rural broadband deployment data by state and county.

Guidance on Adjusting Discretionary Incentive Programs to Support Small Business Recovery

How can economic development organizations modify their incentive programs to help struggling small businesses? To assist in sorting through the options, Smart Incentives has published a guide, prepared for the State Economic Development Executives Network with their partners at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC).

How Public Officials Can Use Data and Evidence to Make Strategic Budget Cuts

The Pew Charitable Trusts released new research on how state and county leaders can use evidence to make strategic budget cuts in the face of economic downturn. The research outlines four strategies, updating budget guidelines, assessing needs and analyzing program performance, using national clearinghouses, and adapting program delivery that can help government officials reduce spending while addressing increasing community needs.

How Small Towns and Cities Use Local Assets to Rebuild Economies

This study, commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), highlights successful strategies small cities and towns use to promote economic development. The study focuses on how these places emphasize existing assets and distinctive resources to complement a broad economic strategy.

How States Can Direct Economic Development to Places and People in Need

This February 2021 research report by The Pew Charitable Trusts explores the outcomes of place-based programs and presents strategies for strengthening place-based programs to better support distressed area. To better understand the reasons for the apparent lack of effectiveness of often state-driven place-based initiatives, The Pew Charitable Trusts performed a literature review of more than 100 studies and conducted more than 30 interviews with national experts, governmental officials and researchers. The results indicate a number of actions state and local governments should take to begin solving the problems associated with current models.

How to Prepare for Natural Disasters: A Pre-Disaster Toolkit for Small- to Medium-Size Communities

Prepared by the U.S. EPA Urban Waters Federal Partnership, this toolkit is designed to help small- to medium-size communities jump-start their natural disaster planning process.

It's Time to Make U.S. Disaster Policy More Equitable and Effective

On January 8, 2021, Next City published this report providing suggestions for how the new Presidential administration can reform U.S. disaster policy. The report outlines four key reforms that could get bipartisan support, reduce federal spending, and protect American lives. NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information reports that in 2020 the U.S. had 22 billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events, six more than any previous year. Such disasters affect millions of Americans and are particularly devastating for low-income communities and communities of color.

January Employment Situation Shows Long-Term Unemployment Increases

On February 5, 2021, NACo published this article summarizing key takeaways from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ January Employment Situation update. The report reveals a stagnant national economy on a stalled road to recovery. NACo presents data and insights on a variety of factors affecting the projected employment trends moving into 2021.

Leading with Race to Reimagine Youth Justice: Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative’s (JDAI’s) Deep-End Initiative

The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released a new report of site-based work to dramatically reduce youth incarceration, especially for youth of color. Casey’s deep-end effort spans 12 demonstration sites across the United States. It employs intentional and data-driven strategies that move systems toward equity and specifically focus on youth of color. As a part of this work, sites engage community organizations and community members to increase opportunities for young people of color in their own neighborhoods.

Leveraging Development Finance Tools to Attract Opportunity Zone Investment

This guide, published by the U.S. EPA Office of Community Revitalization, provides an overview of various development finance tools and suggestions for how communities could use these tools to finance projects in Opportunity Zones.

Opportunity Starts at Home: Racial Inequities in Housing

The Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector affordable homes campaign published a new fact sheet that explains how:

  • Racial disparities manifest in housing and which historical policies caused these disparities
  • Racial disparities in housing impact other sectors
  • Some modern-day policies and practices continue to exacerbate the problem
  • The campaign’s federal policy agenda could help advance racial equity and ensure that people most in need receive the most help

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Rural Economic Development Toolkit

This toolkit, developed by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, aims to help communities build and capitalize on outdoor recreation spaces. Through interviews with over 60 practitioners - including elected officials, land managers, economic development specialists and business leaders, a collection of principles and best practices are provided for building outdoor recreation economies. With open space and plenty of room for social distancing, outdoor recreation counties have a lot to market, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing 2020

The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual report documents the significant gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing across the United States. The report compares rents and wages nationally and in every state, county, and metropolitan area in the United States, and provides a media kit with graphics that present key data from the report. View the full Out of Reach report.

The Poverty Narrative: Understanding Disadvantage in Rural, Urban, and Suburban Places

This video presentation, sponsored by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, is one of seven in a series called the Poverty Narrative. The series is dedicated to a deeper understanding of poverty in the U.S. and Midwest. This video focuses on examining poverty as well as practices and factors that influence poverty in rural, urban, and suburban settings. Speakers discuss how journalists should consider historical context when reporting on poverty-related disparities.

The Racial Equity Index: A New Data Tool to Drive Local Efforts to Dismantle Structural Racism

This new index, from PolicyLink, reveals significant racial inequities even in the most prosperous cities and metros and provides data to help leaders develop targeted strategies for inclusive prosperity.

Rural Transit Fact Book 2020

The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute has published a report that features national, state, and county-level information on rural transit in the United States, and includes rural and urban comparisons on demographics and transportation.

Strong Foundations: Housing Security Solutions Framework

Aspen Institute’s Strong Foundations report provides a set of robust solutions that housing stakeholders can pursue for effective, equitable, and sustainable housing. You can read or download the Executive Summary for an overview of solutions and principles, as well as a process to guide leaders through tailoring the most appropriate solutions to best meet the needs of their communities.

Tech Talent Tracker (Pre-Release)

This resource from the Center on Rural Innovation is designed to help rural leaders understand their tech ecosystems, from identifying local tech employers to assessing area residents' digital skills. The Tracker provides county-level data to create comprehensive reports with detailed maps and charts on key metrics such as employment in digital jobs, CS graduation rates, and broadband connectivity—all while providing comparisons to peer counties and the nation. Interactive reports are available for download and easily shared, and can help local leaders allocate resources, write more effective grants, and tell their communities' stories.

Three Local Policy Innovations that Promote Inclusive, Equitable Mixed-Income Communities

This article in Shelterforce discusses how inclusion and equity in more American metropolitan areas is possible through innovations in local, regional, and state policies related to mixed-income communities.

Thoughtful Design Can Create High-Quality Affordable Multifamily Housing

In the culmination of a four-part series, this Brookings report examines strategies to save costs on three affordable housing building components: the exterior shell, interiors, and services. The analysis focuses on how innovation in design and construction can reduce the costs of multifamily housing without sacrifice. Affordable housing does not have to look cheap inside or out.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

These interactive tools can be used to help you understand and address your community’s climate risks.

What Transformative Placemaking Taught us in 2020, and How it Can Help Build a Better Future

This article published by Brookings examines how transformative placemaking investments can be essential to fostering a more equitable recovery and creating a more just and sustainable nation. To remedy the harms of the past and build back better as a nation, leaders at the local, state, and federal levels must tackle patterns of racial, economic, and environmental injustice head on—radically transforming traditional ways of operating to ensure that where one lives no longer dictates how long they live, or their chance for opportunity.

Working with Them: Small-Scale Landlord Strategies for Avoiding Evictions

This article in Housing Policy details how small-scale landlords in Philadelphia avoid evictions in order to keep tenants in their homes and avert costs associated with evictions. In the article, in-depth interviews reveal that many landlords are willing to work with tenants to devise a payment plan, forgive late fees, or accept services in lieu of rent. Though these strategies vary among landlords, the research could inform eviction prevention policy to meet the needs of both tenants and small-scale landlords.

Funding Opportunities Targeting Small Distressed Cities

Other Upcoming Funding Deadlines

Kubota Tractor Corporation | Hometown Proud Grant Program

Kubota Tractor Corporation announced a first-ever community revitalization grant program, “Hometown Proud,” and is calling on all cities, towns, municipalities, and nonprofits to submit an application for a chance to win $100,000 in funding and use of Kubota equipment to refresh, refurbish, or revitalize a public space. Any community project – from parks, playgrounds, and baseball fields to rodeo and community arenas, and more – will be considered.

Deadline: April 27, 2021

EDA | 2021 Build to Scale Program

The FY 21 Build to Scale program is now live with $38M in funding available to build regional economies through scalable startups. Under the Build to Scale Program, EDA is soliciting applications for two separate competitions: Venture Challenge and Capital Challenge.

Deadline: April 29, 2021

OLHCHH | Older Adults Home Modification Program

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) is making grant funds available to assist experienced nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and public housing authorities in undertaking comprehensive programs that make safety and functional home modifications and limited repairs to meet the needs of low-income elderly homeowners. HUD expects to make approximately 30 awards from the $30,000,000 available under this NOFA. At least 50 percent of funding under this NOFA will be made available to communities with substantial rural populations.

Deadline: May 4, 2021

USDA | Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program

Grants may be used to plan or implement food projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition.

Deadline: May 4, 2021

EPA |Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

The EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Special emphasis is placed on projects focusing on COVID-19 impacts, as well as climate and disaster resiliency.

Deadline: May 7, 2021

USDA | FY 21 Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD)

Offered by USDA Rural Development, the SECD funding is authorized through a Farm Bill provision that supports regional economic and community development planning. SECD supports projects that promote and implement strategic community investment plans. These plans use the unique strengths of rural communities to advance prosperity. USDA Rural Development helps finance these projects to build community prosperity by using community assets, identifying resources, convening partners and leveraging federal, state, local or private funding.

Deadline: June 30, 2021

Community Heart & Soul | Seed Grant Program

Community Heart & Soul is inviting resident-driven groups in small cities and towns to apply for $10,000 in startup funding to implement the Community Heart & Soul model. Based on three powerful principles–involve everyone, focus on what matters most, and play the long game–Community Heart & Soul helps towns move toward a brighter, more prosperous future by bringing the residents of a community closer together.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

DOL | DWG Grants Program Guidance

The DOL National Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) are discretionary grants awarded to states, outlying areas, tribal governments, and local Workforce Development Boards to provide employment-related services for dislocated workers. The Department funds two types of DWGs: Disaster Recovery and Employment Recovery.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

EDA | Funding Opportunities FY 2020

The Economic Development Administration (EDA), within the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides a wide range of technical, planning, and public works and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time. These adverse economic impacts may result from a steep decline in manufacturing employment following a plant closure, changing trade patterns, catastrophic natural disaster, a military base closure, or environmental changes and regulations.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA | Food and Nutrition Service Program

The USDA is offering funding through the Summer Food Service Program to provide free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need during the summer months.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA-Rural Development | Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program

This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Examples of essential facilities include Health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA-Rural Development | Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program

This program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.

Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.