Mine-Scarred Lands Initiative Tool Kit: Identifying and Applying for Funding and Technical Assistance
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Every mine revitalization project needs funding to succeed. Though the MSL Initiative communities are at varying stages of their projects, they all have begun identifying and applying for funding. Some of the considerations learned through the projects include:
- Build partnerships with state economic development agencies, local non-profit organizations and foundations. Typically these organizations have significant experience in identifying and applying for funding and will be a valuable resource.
- Discuss the project with a variety of agency representatives even if no funding is currently available. Not all federal and state agencies will be able to provide support during the timeframe for the project, but they may be able to provide other contacts or innovative financing ideas.
- Hold an in-person meeting of potential funding and technical assistance representatives. Federal, state and local funding and technical assistance representatives may be able to better understand what role they can play in the project and think creatively about how to help combine a variety of resources if they are able to tour the project and have a dialogue with a range of partners.
- Understand the eligible entities for funding resources. Some sources of funds can only be utilized by non-profit organizations or county governments.
- Learn the timetables for federal and state grant and loan programs. Some applications may require a pre-application or screening process to determine if the project meets the funding criteria for the program.
- Plan accordingly as many federal and state funding opportunities take time to apply for and receive funding. Projects may need to get on the funding priority list of some federal or state programs.
- Identify grants that may be used to help with loan payments. For example, a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Brownfields Economic Development Grant (BEDI) can be used to make interest payments on a HUD Section 108 loan for a certain period of time until the redevelopment project generates its own revenue.
- Establish relationships with local county/municipality business development agencies as they may be able to assist with other state or federal funding sources. For example, a county would need to pledge its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for a project to receive a HUD Section 108 loan guarantee.