HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 08-23-2011
Jerrie Magruder
(601) 608-1705
For Release
August 23, 2011

Grants for rural and tribal communities to address housing, poverty and jobs

JACKSON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $1,974,462 to The Community Students Learning Center in Lexington, Mississippi to address distressed housing conditions and concentrated
poverty. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the grants from HUD’s new Rural Innovation Fund promote an "entrepreneurial approach" to affordable housing and economic development in rural areas (see list of Mississippi service area grants below).

"Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities," said Donovan. "Because there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to strengthening rural communities, this funding provides flexible resources to address either housing or economic development needs, or both. This is especially important for communities that may have more limited access to resources because of their distant locations. These are catalytic projects that will have an impact on their communities for generations to come."

"This Rural Innovation Fund Grant award for the State of Mississippi innovatively recognizes and addresses the unique nature and needs of rural communities and helps them address housing and economic concerns and opportunities in the state," said HUD Southeast Region Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr.

For example, the Community Students Learning center in Lexington, Mississippi will receive a Rural Innovation Fund Comprehensive grant in the amount of $1,974,462 for the Empowering the Delta with growing Economy(EDGE)
project. EDGE will partner with community, business and government agencies to implement a multifaceted approach that generate jobs and provide job training, housing counseling, housing and entrepreneurism.

HUD’s new Rural Innovation Fund offers grants of up to $2 million to support innovative housing and economic development activities in 19 states throughout the country. HUD received 307 applications for over $236 million, almost 10 times the amount available. Eligible applicants were federally recognized Indian tribes, state housing
finance agencies (HFAs), state community development agencies, local rural non-profit organizations, community development corporations, or consortia of these groups. Grantees can use their grant funding to support a variety
of housing and economic development activities including construction, preparation of plans, land acquisition, demolition, homeownership counseling, and financial assistance.

HUD awarded Rural Innovation Fund grants in three categories nationwide:

Comprehensive Grants - 7 Comprehensive grants nationwide, in which grantees have examined the social, housing and economic needs and resources of their target areas and made proposals that address these needs through activities that will have sustained benefit and resources after HUD assistance is used. The maximum grant amount was $2,000,000 for this category. Mississippi received one comprehensive grant.

Single Purpose Grants - 31 Single Purpose grants nationwide, for more targeted initiatives, which typically focus primarily on either housing or economic development. The maximum award amount was $300,000 for this category.

Economic Development and Entrepreneurship for Federally Recognized Tribes - 8 Indian Economic Development and Entrepreneurship grants nationwide, awarded from $5 million set aside for applications for federally recognized Indian tribes. The maximum award amount was $800,000 for this category.

Highlights of the Awards include:

Grantees have proposed to leverage over $18 million in other funds for their respective projects.

  • 19 states are represented among the service areas, including Mississippi.
  • 27 awardees - over half - are tribes or tribal affiliates. Tribal organizations were competitive in all categories under the NOFA and were recommended to receive 53% of total funding.
  • 789 housing units are proposed for low income beneficiaries nationwide.
  • 655 total jobs will be created through activities assisted by the grants nationwide.



Grant Type


Grant Amount




Community Students Learning Center





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Content Archived: April 25, 2013