To be released soon
Learn more Here
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has released the Fiscal Year 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) Program, with up to $3.16 billion available for planning and construction projects.
The Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) and Neighborhood Access and Equity (NAE) Programs are now in a single NOFO, with many common characteristics, including:
- Prioritizing disadvantaged communities,
- Aiming to improve access to daily destinations such as jobs, education, healthcare, food, and recreation,
- Fostering equitable development and restoration, and
- Reconnecting communities by removing, retrofitting, mitigating, or replacing highways or other transportation facilities that create barriers to community connectivity, including to mobility, access, or economic development
Because of these shared characteristics, it is possible for many projects to be eligible and considered for both programs using a single application. The chart below illustrates the similarities and differences between the RCP and NAE opportunities.
USDOT is offering three grant types:
- Community Planning Grants will award RCP and/or NAE funding for planning activities for future construction projects and allow for innovative community planning to address localized transportation challenges.
- Capital Construction Grants will award RCP and/or NAE funding to carry out a project to remove, retrofit, mitigate, or replace an existing eligible dividing transportation facility with a new facility that reconnects communities; mitigates a burdening transportation facility that is a source of air pollution, noise, stormwater, heat, or other burdens; or implements a strategy to reduce environmental harm and/or improve access through transportation improvements.
- Regional Partnerships Challenge Grants will award NAE funding to a project led by two or more eligible applicants to address a persistent regional challenge related to equitable access and mobility. Eligible activities for Regional Partnerships Challenge Grants are the same as those listed under Capital Construction and Community Planning Grants but must have a regional focus, and clearly demonstrate regional coordination and leveraging of local, State, and Federal resources and policies.
The NOFO can be found on Grants.gov. Applications must be submitted through Valid Eval (links below). To apply, the three grant programs have been split into two application sites:
- Community Planning Grants and Regional Partnerships Challenge Grants with Planning Activities
- Capital Construction Grants and Regional Partnerships Challenge Grants with Construction Activities
USDOT will evaluate applications for the programs using common merit criteria and considerations to provide a more streamlined and efficient application process for project sponsors. The common set of criteria include:
- Equity and Environmental Justice
- Facility Suitability
- Community Engagement
- Community-based Stewardship, Management, and Partnership
- Equitable Development
- Climate and Environment
- Workforce Development and Economic Opportunity