Eastern Kentucky non-profits and community facilities may be eligible for funding for building upgrades or equipment purchases, including renewable energy projects, from the US Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Grant Program. Community facilities include healthcare, social services and childcare facilities, local food systems (i.e. community gardens, food pantries, community kitchens, food hubs, greenhouses), educational services (museums, libraries, private schools), municipal buildings, schools, and more.
For example, Beattyville Housing and Development in Lee County received a $37,500 USDA Community Facility Grant in September 2016 to help restore a building. Some of the work included repairs to the roof, replacing the gutters, and HVAC maintenance.
Here are a few things to know about the USDA program:
- Eligible facilities must be open to the public.
- Grants are capped at $50,000.
- Grants cover up to 75% of a project, based on county population and median income as of the 2010 census data. For example, projects in Letcher County are at 35%, but Bell County is 75%.
- There is no deadline, but there is also no timeline for how long it takes a grant to be awarded. It all depends on the availability of funds. If a grant is not funded, it can be carried over into the next budget year.
- If a non-profit is interested in applying, they must go through an
eligibility process (municipal facilities are automatically eligible). Eligibility
determinations are made within 30-45 days (may be longer for faith-based
organizations). They must submit the following for this process:
- Articles of incorporation
- A letter from an attorney stating that they are formally organized and still in operation
- Area Development Districts can help with the grant-writing process. Before beginning, the facility must have a project description, total cost, explanation of need (focused on what services they’ll provide with the money they are saving), and how they’ll fund the remainder of the project. The USDA also has a loan product associated with this program.
Please visit the following link to learn more: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program
If you are interested in working on your building’s energy needs, MACED’s Energy Efficient Enterprises (E3) program specialists are available to get you started. It may be important for your enterprise to start with an energy efficiency audit to determine if funding would be best spent on energy efficiency upgrades or if you are ready for a renewable energy system.
Please feel free to contact MACED’s E3 team if you would like to discuss your energy project at firstname.lastname@example.org or (859) 671-0217.