2/25 UPDATE: HUD offers new funding guide

New funding opportunities and resources for the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone

Great new starting resource available through HUD

PromiseZone_logo_80wTo provide Promise Zone communities with a better idea of current, future and past funding opportunities, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has compiled a list of funding and technical assistance opportunities of the Promise Zone partner agencies.

There are more than 90 different entries in four tabs of an Excel spreadsheet includes a list of:

  • Programs that provide priority points or priority consideration.
  • Programs that do not provide preferences but will help further the goals outlined in Promise Zone plans.
  • HUD NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) Forecast.

This list will be periodically updated as agencies identify future opportunities.


USDA: Funds available for South Carolina organizations

If you are a small business or agricultural producer, you can receive grants up to $250,000 for energy efficiency projects and up to $500,000 for renewable energy projects.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Loans and Grant Program (REAP) can help fund renewable energy systems such as: solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal systems, anaerobic digesters and other.

Energy efficiency improvements projects include:  lighting, high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC), insulation, refrigeration units, replacement of energy inefficient equipment and other. For more information about REAP Program and application deadlines please visit USDA Rural Development website at http://www.rd.usda.gov/sc

HUD: Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Program NOFA

Deadline: April 4, 2016

The purpose of HUD’s Housing Counseling Grant Program is to provide funds that shall be used for providing counseling and advice to tenants and homeowners, both current and prospective, with respect to property maintenance, financial management/ and literacy, and such other matters as may be appropriate to assist program clients in improving their housing conditions, meeting their financial needs, and fulfilling the responsibilities of tenancy or homeownership. Funding provided under this NOFA is intended to support HUD approved housing counseling agencies to respond flexibly to the needs of residents and neighborhoods, and deliver a wide variety of housing counseling services to homebuyers, homeowners, renters, and the homeless. This NOFA plays an integral role in the continued stabilization of our nation’s housing market by helping individuals and families obtain housing and stay in their homes through responsible homeownership or affordable rental housing. Traditionally underserved populations, such as minorities, the elderly, veterans, persons with disabilities, persons with limited English proficiency and residents of rural areas, face unique housing and economic challenges. HUD’s Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Program funds housing agencies that provide expert, unbiased guidance and information to help families and individuals meet their housing needs and improve their financial situations. Moreover, HUD grant funding supports housing counseling agencies that act as an important safeguard in the prevention of housing scams and discrimination. These housing counseling agencies are able to act as an important gateway to local, state, federal and private housing assistance and resources.

HUD: Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 Housing Counseling Training Grant Program NOFA

Deadline:  April 4, 2016

The purpose of this assistance is to continue investing in the creation and maintenance of a professional and effective housing counseling industry that is able to meaningfully assist consumers by providing them with the information they need to make informed housing choices, and maximizes the impact of Federal funding appropriated for HUD’s Housing Counseling Program.

HUD recognizes that counselors may specialize in specific housing counseling topics and that generally counselors will need more than general housing counseling training in order to provide high quality services that include general and specialized housing counseling topics.

This NOFA provides notice of a grant program that supports the provision of both basic housing counseling training and specialized topics of training to help meet these perceived needs. This financial support will assist housing counseling agencies to increase the use of partnerships with local and state-wide organizations to provide additional place based training on state and local issues. In addition this support should result in an increased number of training scholarships.

HHS: Agency Grants Forecast

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Grants Forecast is a database of planned grant opportunities proposed by its agencies. Each Forecast record contains actual or estimated dates and funding levels for grants that the agency intends to award during the fiscal year. Forecast opportunities are subject to change based on enactment of congressional appropriations.  Please note that communities have the ability to tailor search results.


USDA: Applications sought for grants to repair rural housing

Deadline: March 15, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is seeking applications for grants to make housing repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents, and has extended the deadline to March 15, 2016. The grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grant Program.

This program are intended to help rural homeowners and rental housing owners repair and improve their properties. Funds may be used to resolve health or safety issues, make accessibility modifications for people with disabilities, or make energy efficiency improvements to reduce utility costs.

MAYORS/WELLS FARGO: CommunityWINS grant program offers $3 million in funding to build prosperity

DEADLINE: March 18, 2016

Launched in 2015 by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the CommunityWINS grant program includes a $3 million investment by the Wells Fargo Foundation over three years to support neighborhood revitalization, economic development and job creation in local municipalities.

HEALTHY KIDS: School Grants for Healthy Kids
Application Deadline: Apr 1, 2016

Awards funding to support school breakfast and physical activity programs. Sponsor: Action for Healthy Kids

RURAL HEALTH: Telehealth Network Grant Program (TNGP)
Deadline: April 8, 2016

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has funding to demonstrate how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to quality health care services in rural, frontier and underserved communities.

NHSC: National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
Deadline: April 15, 2016

This National Health Service Corps program provides loan repayment funding to primary healthcare professionals who agree to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas.

MORE GRANTS: Click here to find recently-announced grant openings


SBA: Webinars | Affordable Care Act 101

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority will host free Affordable Care Act 101 webinars so small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how they can enroll in health insurance marketplaces. The webinars begin at 2pm ET.

March 3 Register now

March 17 Register now

March 31 Register now

April 14  Register now

April 28 Register now 

USDA: Webinars to learn how to use USDA Rural Development’s new application intake system

Three times: March 8, 2016 to March 23, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Telecommunications Program will host a series of webinars focused on our new application intake system: RD apply. This new system allows interested parties to apply electronically for loans and grants administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

Apply with ease for the latest RUS Farm Bill Broadband Loan Program and Infrastructure Program loans through RD Apply. Eventually, more programs will be added into the system, allowing a wider range of customers to submit applications electronically.

Learn about our new system at one of our WEBINAR training events (time and date subject to change): Mar 8, 2016 — 10 – 11:30 AM EST; Mar 23, 2016 — 2:30 – 4 PM EST  | Instructions on attending these events can be found here

TREASURY: Webinars on expanding Community Development Financial Institutes coverage in underserved areas

Three webinars: March 22, 2016, to April 5, 2016

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) has released the schedule of the next set of free webinars through the Capacity Building Initiative’s “Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas” series. The webinars, provided by Opportunity Finance Network and its partners, will be held between January 2016 and April 2016. The CDFI Fund launched the “Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas” series to help fill the gaps in Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) service coverage in underserved communities in the United States and its territories. The free webinars are designed to maximize CDFI industry participation in this important training. The webinars will expand upon training topics developed for in-person training sessions held during the summer of 2015, as well as new topical content on expansion developed by CDFI experts. The webinars are:

  • Customer Acquisition (Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 2 p.m. EDT
  • Fundraising Strategies for your CDFI (Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 2 p.m. EDT
  • Future webinar opportunities will be posted as they are confirmed to the “Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas” webpage. Webinars will be recorded and made available on the CDFI Fund’s Resource Bank later in 2016.

U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement: Webinar on trends and best practices in Adult Literacy Programs 

Monday, March 21, 2016 1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET)

This webinar will provide an overview of the landscape of adult education, what we know about the population and the challenges they face, and strategies that are making a difference. will provide an overview of the landscape of the adult literacy field, such as shifts in policy and strategies for delivery, and an overview of place-based strategies for addressing adult literacy. Even as the national landscape changes, communities are seeing adult literacy as a community problem, not an individual issue that requires community solutions. Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, a Senior Program Manager from Jobs for the Future, and Silja Killenbach, Vice President US Division from World Ed will provide the overview. The webinar will also feature the work in Philadelphia as an exemplar of community based strategies to improve the system for delivering adult literacy and also to improve literacy outcomes for residents. Leaders from the Mayor’s Commission on LiteracyH. Naomie Nyanungo and Jennifer Kobrin, will describe their work, the design, structure, and impact.

U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement: Webinar on educating for Work: Building Employability Skills for Adult Learners 

Monday, March 28, 2016 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (EST);

 “Educating for Work: Building Employability Skills for Adult Learners” will provide an overview of 21st century skills and strategies for effectively building employability skills for adult learners.  For many Americans, adult education programs are the gateway to advanced learning and employment.  A part of the ever- expanding role of adult education programs is to build employability “soft skills” for adult learners to help ensure their success in the workforce.  Often, though, providers are better equipped to address academic skills than employability. Many providers struggle to (a) identify the skills that are most important to employers and (b) deliver education and training for employability skills in an effective and impactful way.  This webinar will provide some guidance on these questions and resources to support your ongoing efforts. Mary Wright, a Senior Program Director from the Jobs for the Future, will be the presenter for this webinar. Ms. Wright has decades of experience working with employers and providers to develop programs for education and training that prepare adult learners for the 21st Century workforce. She is currently the project manager for a contract with the Department of Education to promote the importance of employability skills to employers and other stakeholders in the education to employment pipeline.


Overview of the President’s FY17 Federal Budget Request

President Obama recently released his final budget proposal, outlining $4.1 trillion in spending for federal agencies. Total spending would increase 4.9 percent over the current fiscal year, but with a less than 1 percent increase in discretionary spending in accordance with the spending caps set last year. The fiscal year 2017 budget request includes funding and legislative proposals supporting the lineup of initiatives announced by the White House over the past few weeks including the Computer Science for All initiative, the National Cancer Moonshot, the 21st Century Clean Transportation System initiative, the Mission Innovation global climate initiative, a major investment in cybersecurity and a water innovation plan. Each year, SSTI reviews the president’s federal budget request for programs and spending related to entrepreneurship, regional innovation, economic development, manufacturing, research and development, technology commercialization, and STEM education and workforce training. This year’s Federal Budget Special Issue provides an overview of tech-based economic development spending, as well as an agency-by-agency analysis of related programmatic spending. Read more…


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