Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Build America Bureau announced funding for a new pilot program created by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program offers technical assistance grants to rural and tribal communities, making $10 million available over five years to advance infrastructure projects in these communities.
“In order to make the most of our historic infrastructure investments, we must ensure they reach every community, including the rural and tribal communities that are too often left behind by federal investments,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This program will help provide rural and tribal communities the resources they need to seek—and win—federal grants, so they can realize their visions for better infrastructure.”
Funding from the grants can be used to hire staff or advisors, feasibility studies, preliminary engineering and design, environmental review, revenue forecasting, financial feasibility analysis, statutory and regulatory analysis and drafting and negotiation of agreements.
“Three words we like to share: NO LOCAL MATCH,” said Assistant Secretary for Tribal Affairs Arlando Teller. “The Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program will provide tribal nations with critical technical assistance to help deliver transportation priorities for their communities. Yéego apply for this opportunity.”
This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) combines two years of funding (Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023), with $3.4 million in total. There is no local funding match required to participate in this program.
“Many communities are already benefitting from funding and financing programs that the Bureau administers. However, tribal and rural communities represent a smaller share in our pipeline,” said Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “The Bureau is committed to providing technical assistance, through this pilot program and other tools, and to creating capacity at local levels that can lead to better utilization of innovative funding and financing solutions in delivery of critical projects.”
A funding application is available here.
Eligible applicants include local governments or political subdivisions with projects located outside of an urbanized area with a population of more than 150,000 residents as determined by the Census, state governments applying on behalf of a project in an area outside an urbanized area of more than 150,000 residents, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.