Notes from TIGER II Discretionary Grants and HUD Community Challenge Planning Grants Webinar

Over 430 individuals attended a webinar on July 1 hosted by federal officials from HUD and DOT to discuss the jointly issued TIGER II Discretionary Grants and HUD Community Challenge Planning Grants. If you were unable to attend, we have included some key notes from the webinar below to help your state and community compete for these awards. These notes are not exhaustive; complete information is available in the official notice of funding availability and on each of the agency sites (links available in the right hand column).

Do you have additional questions? Leave us a comment and we will do our best to point you to an answer.


  • Pre-applications are due at 5:00pm on July 26, 2010.
  • Final applications are due at 5:00pm on August 23, 2010
  • Applications must be submitted through Register early on if you have not used the site before. If you try to register on the day the application is due, you will be unable to do so.
  • Click here for application information.
  • One application per project.

Purpose of joint issuance between HUD and DOT:

  • To support local, metropolitan, regional, and state efforts to coordinate housing, transportation, economic development, and land use
  • To provide one common, easy, supportive path for complicated projects and planning to seek funding

Available funds:

  • $40 million for Community Challenge and up to $35 million for TIGER II
  • No minimum, but maximum is $3 million per award; grants can fund up to 80% of project cost. In rural areas, up to 100%
  • Looking for 20% of cost of project for TIGER II match; but transportation in rural areas has no match requirement — but it will only help your project to exceed basic eligibility requirements. Only 1 application per project.

Basic Eligibility:

  • Public entities. Private and nonprofit interests can participate in partnership with a government entity as the lead applicant
  • It was stressed repeatedly that eligibility does not equate to competitiveness. Competitive applications will go above and beyond the minimum eligibility level.

TIGER II eligible projects:

  • Includes surface transportation projects

Community Challenge Planning Grants eligible projects:

  • Eligible projects include master/comprehensive plans, revisions to codes/zoning/barrier removal, local/corridor plans, livability strategy
  • 15-page application limit
  • Rating Factors:
    • Rating Factor 1: Purpose and Outcomes (35 points)
      • How your project will align with one or more of the 6 livability principles
    • Rating Factor 2: Work Plan and Program Evaluation (35 points)
      • Describe what are the outcomes and outputs you are seeking to address. Give a sense of interim activities to make sure you’re tracking progress. They want to see a budget proposal including direct, indirect, and administrative costs.
    • Rating Factor 3: Leveraging
      • If the project is HUD-related, your match can be an in-kind contribution (such as staff time, or a meeting room), which they are calling a 20% leveraged resource. Shoot to exceed the bare minimum! Leverage as much as you can. Use partners, such as the foundation community, to supplement the things you need to leverage.
    • Rating Factor 4: Capacity
      • Demonstrate the capacity to implement in a timely manner with all appropriate entities involved
      • HUD values fair housing and civil rights commitment
    • HUD Departmental Priorities:
      • Capacity-building and knowledge-sharing: to advance public participation, technical skills, working with others in region
      • Expand cross-cutting policy knowledge

Combined funds:

Some applicants will receive funding from both TIGER II and Community Challenge Planning Grants. It’s important to note, however, that these two programs are not funding identical things. The two programs are funding related things, and the federal agencies are hoping that applicants will submit innovate, cross-cutting applications.

Ineligible activities include:

Plans to assist businesses or industries with relocation at the expense of another community (the program is designed to create jobs, not redistribute jobs), detailed engineering or architectural drawings for specific projects, or projects that substitute these dollars for money that has already been pledged.

Joint evaluation process:

  • Both HUD and DOT will be present during the evaluation process
  • Scores range from 1-100. Once a project clears the initial qualifying threshold, it moves on to a senior review team
  • DOT and HUD will take measures to ensure equitable distribution of funds, which includes requirements to look at urban vs. rural and regional vs. modal equity.
  • The federal government reserves the right to fund less than requested amount. Communities may be selected for either/or or both HUD and DOT funds
  • TIGER II grants will be administered by the appropriate modal division
  • Challenge grants will be administered by Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at HUD
  • Be prepared to initiate within 120 days of grant award

Competitive Applications:

  • Meet basic eligibility requirements
  • Address criteria and outcomes
  • Clarity
  • Emphasize the leveraging of investments and partnerships
  • Are innovative
  • Break down silos between agencies and levels of government
  • Reaching eligibility does not mean reaching competitiveness. If you are desperately trying to reach the 20% match threshold, the application is unlikely to be competitive.
  • Note: This is not a formula grant program; it’s a competitive grant program. There may be states that get no money. There’s no guarantee that each state will get a certain percentage. It depends on the quality of applications.