National Funding Opportunities
EPA has developed this guide of national funding resources to assist local and state governments, communities, and non-governmental organizations who are addressing the varied aspects of smart growth. Click here for state-specific resources.
Please note that this list is not an exhaustive compilation of all possible funding resources in the smart growth arena. It lists federal resources and directories of funding sources maintained by outside organizations.
- Affordable Housing and Community Development
- General Smart Growth or Environmental
- Green Building
- Historic Preservation
- Land Preservation and Conservation
- Rural and Agricultural
- Transportation (includes trails, bike, pedestrian)
- Water Quality, Wetlands, and Coasts
PolicyLink: Equity Tools
Includes an Affordable Housing Tool Group, with information on how to ensure access to good jobs and opportunities to save and build assets to increase community health and stability.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
Formula-based block grant program to distribute funds to support broad community development goals, including housing, economic development, infrastructure, and social services.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
Formula-based block grant program to build, buy, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rental or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: HOPE VI
Competitive grant program to support demolition, renovation, and redevelopment of public housing projects into mixed-income communities.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Neighborhood Stabilization Program
Competitive grant program to stabilize communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment through purchase and redevelopment of distressed properties.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative – Change U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to U.S. Department of Commerce: Economic Development Administration
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program
Competitive loan guarantee program for CDBG recipients to support activities in economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities rehabilitation, or construction or installation for the benefit of low- to moderate-income persons, or to aid in the prevention of slums.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Section 202 Housing for Elderly Program
Entitlement program to award capital and rental assistance to finance, construct, rehabilitate, or redevelop property to house very low-income elderly persons.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities
Entitlement program to award capital and rental assistance to develop rental housing with the availability of supportive services for very low-income adults with disabilities.
U.S. Department of the Treasury: Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
Provides small infusions of capital to institutions that serve distressed communities and low-income individuals.
SMARTe: Sources of Money
Lists a variety of financing strategies used in site revitalization, including public grants, subsidized low-interest loans, revolving loan funds, bonds, taxes and special assessments, and private financing.
U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development: Brownfields Economic Development Initiative
Competitive grant program to assist cities with the redevelopment of abandoned, idled, and underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion and redevelopment is burdened by real or potential environmental contamination.
U.S. EPA Brownfields Program: Grants and Funding
EPA's Brownfields Program provides direct funding for brownfields assessment, cleanup, revolving loans, and environmental job training and provides technical information on brownfields financing matters.
U.S. Department of Energy: State Energy Program
Provides funding to states to design and carry out energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
Environmental Grantmakers Association
Coalition of more than 225 foundations that give environmental grants.
Helps grant-seekers find foundations to match their needs.
Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
Offers a searchable database of foundations that support various elements of smart growth.
Smart Growth Gateway: Smart Growth Grantmakers
Lists some foundations that give grants for smart growth-related efforts.
Council of Development Finance Agencies
CDFA lists resources on tools including tax credits, bonds, and tax-increment financing.
Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network: Grant/Loan Resources
List of grant and loan programs focused on sustainability.
Red Lodge Clearinghouse: Funding Search Database
Searchable database of funding sources.
Smart Growth Gateway: Federal Government Funding
Lists federal agency programs that support smart growth efforts.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration: Funding Opportunities
Funding available from EDA for economic development.
Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE)
CARE is a community-based program that works with county and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations and universities to help the public understand and reduce toxic risks from numerous sources. Some communities have used CARE funding for smart growth development projects.
U.S. EPA: Environmental Justice Grant Programs
Financial assistance to eligible organizations to build collaborative partnerships, identify local environmental and/or public health issues, and envision solutions and empower the community through education, training, and outreach.
U.S. EPA Green Building Guide to Funding Opportunities
Lists a variety of funding sources including grants, tax credits, and loans.
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation: Federal Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects — Disaster Response
Lists federal disaster relief programs that provide financial assistance for structural rehabilitation after a disaster or proactive efforts to reduce or prevent future potential damage.
National Park Service: Tax Incentives for Preserving Historic Properties
Preservation Tax Incentives encourage private investment in rehabilitating historic properties to generate jobs and low- and moderate-income housing.
National Park Service: State, Tribal, and Local Plains and Grants
The HPF provides matching grants to encourage private and non-federal investment in historic preservation efforts nationwide.
National Trust for Historic Preservation: Find Funding
Links to funding resources for a wide variety of historic preservation projects.
National Trust for Historic Preservation: Historic Tax Credits
Online resource on federal and state rehabilitation tax credits.
Land Trust Alliance: Grants
Lists sources for funding land trust activities.
LWCF grant funds may be used for state planning and for acquisition and development of state and local recreational facilities.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service: Conservation Innovation Grants
Intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service: Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
Provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses.
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Development Grant Assistance
Funding opportunities for rural development.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED)
Competitive grant program to support innovative housing and economic development activities in rural areas.
Active Living Resource Center: Safe Routes to School Funding
Lists places to obtain funds for safe routes to school programs.
American Trails: National Trails Training Partnership
Federal funding programs relevant to trails and greenways.
Federal Highway Administration: Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding
Lists federal funding sources for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Federal Highway Administration: Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program (CMAQ)
CMAQ funds are awarded through states or metropolitan planning organizations in air quality non-attainment areas for projects that reduce transportation-related emissions, including transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities.
Federal Highway Administration: Recreational Trails Program
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
Federal Highway Administration: Safe Routes to School
Allocated through state departments of transportation, Safe Routes to School funds are used to make it easier and safer for students to walk and bicycle to school. Eligible activities including the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of primary and middle schools.
Federal Highway Administration: Transportation Enhancements
The transportation enhancements program funds projects that expand transportation choices. Funding is distributed through states.
Federal Transit Administration: Grant Programs
Lists the major grant programs that FTA sponsors.
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse: Funding Sources
Links to funding for transportation enhancements programs.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: Funding
Funding sources and strategies that can support and institutionalize bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Coastal Services Center: Funding Opportunities
Fellowship and funding opportunities from NOAA's Coastal Services Center.
U. S. EPA: Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection
Searchable database of financial assistance sources (grants, loans, cost-sharing) to fund watershed protection projects.
U.S. EPA: Watershed Funding
Tools, databases, and information about sources of funding to protect watersheds.
U.S. EPA: Wetlands State, Tribal, and Local Initiatives
Financial assistance opportunities to help states and tribes protect and manage wetlands.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
Provides matching grants to states to acquire, restore, manage, or enhance coastal wetlands.