SGA is partnering with T-Mobile to assist rural communities

In a unique partnership focused on bringing vital connections to rural America, Smart Growth America is helping T-Mobile give one small community a prize package worth $3 million as well as millions in smaller grants for hundreds of other rural and small town communities to reinvest in their downtowns, improve their quality of life, become … Continued

Rural Development Technical assistance

USDOT now accepting TIGER grant pre-applications

The pre-application period for this year’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants is now open. Pre-applications are a mandatory first step in the TIGER application process. All potential applicants submit material to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) prior to submitting a final application through the federal grants portal. Full information about the process and the pre-application itself can be found at www.dot.gov/tiger. The deadline for this required first step is October 3, 2011.

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"TIGER and Rural America Part 2" webinar materials now online

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Sustainable Communities Network’s recent webinar, “TIGER Grants and Rural America, Part 2.” The webinar was the result of a collaborative effort between Smart Growth America, Reconnecting America, the National Association of Development Organizations, Policy Link, the American Public Transportation Association, the National League of Cities, Rural Assembly, and Transportation for America to provide rural communities with the necessary tools and technical assistance to help advance superior TIGER projects.

Materials from last week’s webinar are now available online. The webinar includes strategies and lessons on how to submit competitive TIGER applications, with tips from both the funding agency as well grant writers and political leaders who have brought millions of dollars to their own communities. Learn what distinguishes an outstanding grant application from all other eligible applications and understand how to write a successful TIGER grant. Gain in-depth knowledge on what is needed to conduct a Benefit-Cost Analysis, an integral part of the TIGER application. Become familiar with the selection criteria and learn how to successfully position your project with regional partnerships. And for prospective applicants, learn about next steps and where to get additional resources and help.

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Upcoming webinar series from USDOT on TIGER grants provide answers from the source

In anticipation of the pre-application system for TIGER grants opening on August 22nd, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is offering a series of special topic webinars that delve into various aspects of the TIGER application process. These webinars will be a great resource for anyone either considering applying to TIGER this year or actually preparing a TIGER application, as the webinars come from the funding source and share the expertise of USDOT to prospective applicants.

All interested parties are strongly encouraged to attend. The webinars listed below will be held from 1:00-2:30 PM EDT. There are no registration fees for these sessions, but SPACE IS LIMITED. Advance registration is required and available by clicking on the webinar topic listed below.

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TIGER Webinar shares important insights for rural communities

A webinar on August 3rd entitled “TIGER Grants and Rural America” explained in detail a valuable funding source for rural communities seeking to improve their transportation network. Rural communities face unique challenges such as maintaining their small town character while encouraging economic growth, and less density often precludes certain types of transportation projects. Additionally, rural communities are often faced with limited capacity compared to the resources of larger areas. A key take-away from the webinar, though, is that rural communities can use TIGER grants to overcome these challenges and implement innovative and job-creating transportation projects.

TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants are discretionary grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation that fund capital improvement in surface transportation projects. Two prior rounds of TIGER have already allocated over $2 billion to communities across the nation and a third round of $527 million has just been announced. As highlighted in the webinar, rural communities can benefit from the TIGER program in the following ways:

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"TIGER and Rural America" webinar materials now online

Thank you to all the participants of the recent webinar “TIGER Grants and Rural America.” The webinar is the result of a collaborative effort between Smart Growth America, Reconnecting America, the National Association of Development Organizations, Policy Link, the American Public Transportation Association, the National League of Cities, Rural Assembly, and Transportation for America to provide rural communities with the necessary tools and technical assistance to help advance superior TIGER projects.

Included on this webinar are strategies and lessons on how to submit competitive TIGER applications from both the funding agency as well as prior successful grant recipients. First is an overview of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program for rural projects from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation that highlights how to compete for a TIGER grant as well as important deadlines and eligibility requirements for applicants. This is followed by an exploration of rural TIGER projects that support strong economies and livable communities, helping to show the usefulness of the TIGER program to rural America. Finally, an in-depth case study from a past TIGER grant recipient provides first-hand knowledge of how to submit a successful application.

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HUD releases Notice of Funding Availability for Regional Planning Grants and Community Challenge Grants.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today in a press release that HUD will be investing $95 million to support stronger, economically competitive communities through their Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. From the release:

This year’s Regional Planning Grant program will encourage grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments in a manner that empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to bring economic competitiveness and revitalization to a community. The program will place a priority on partnerships, including the collaboration of arts and culture, philanthropy, and innovative ideas to the regional planning process. Recognizing that areas are in different stages of sustainability planning.

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Innovative rural transportation projects using TIGER funds

The following guest post, written by Alia Anderson at Reconnecting America, is part of an ongoing series by Smart Growth America and our partner organizations to highlight the unique funding opportunity available to rural communities through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER program. Crossposted from Reconnecting America.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced on July 1, 2011 that it would offer a third round of the popular Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, which fund innovative, job-creating transportation projects. USDOT is authorized to award $526.944 million through the program. At least $141 million of the program funds will be reserved for projects in rural areas. The required set aside for rural communities represents nearly 27% of total TIGER funds, which is an increase from the portion directed toward rural places in the prior two rounds of funding.

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Upcoming webinar: TIGER grants and rural America

The US Department of Transportation has announced a new grant opportunity for rural communities across the country. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program is a great opportunity for rural communities to leverage federal funds for local transportation projects. To help communities apply these very competitive grants, the American Public Transportation Association, the National Association of Development Organizations, the National League of Cities, PolicyLink, Reconnecting America, Rural Assembly, Smart Growth America, and Transportation for America have joined together to encourage rural communities to submit superior applications for this funding.

If you plan to apply for this year’s round of TIGER grants or wish to learn more about the program and the application process, join us for a webinar on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 2:00 PM EDT. The webinar will provide basic tips for outreach and education about the TIGER program, including an overview of TIGER, discussion of innovative rural transportation projects, and examples from two successful rural projects from earlier TIGER grant cycles.

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DOT announces funding to be available for TIGER program

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that $527 million will be available for the third round of the highly successful TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program. TIGER grants fund innovative transportation projects that create jobs and have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area.

For this round of grants, projects will be selected based on their ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, improve energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of U.S. transportation facilities and improve the quality of living and working environments of communities through increased transportation choices and connections. DOT will also focus on projects that are expected to quickly create and preserve jobs and spur rapid increases in economic activity.

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