This program is designed to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural healthcare services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. This program offers two tracks of funding:
Grant funds are limited to an applicable percentage of eligible project costs (up to 75 percent) based on population and the median household income of the population served.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides the Rural Housing Service Community Facilities (CF) Program up to $500 million in grant funding for eligible applicants and eligible facilities to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, health care services including telehealth services, food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities, and collaborative, evidence-based support for the long-term sustainability of rural health care.
Nearly one in five Americans live in rural areas and depend on local hospitals and clinics for care. Yet since 2010, more than one hundred rural hospitals have closed. The closure of a rural hospital or health clinic results in an immediate decline in the availability of rural health care providers and increases the distance rural residents must travel to access care. The financial stress on rural hospitals and the negative impact on rural residents has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program provides immediate relief to address economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 emergency. It also provides funding to advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health care.
Eligible applicants include:
Track Two: Impact Grant applicants must also establish a network or group of entities that consist of health care provider organizations, economic development entities, federally-recognized Tribes or institutions of higher learning (which may include academic health and research institutes).
Facilities and projects must be located in – and primarily serve – rural areas. Rural areas including cities, villages, towns, townships, and federally-recognized Tribal lands with no more than 20,000 residents as determined by the latest U.S. Census Data are eligible for this program.
The grants can cover up to 75 percent of eligible project costs based on population and median household income of the population to be served.