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Grant Opportunities

The following list represents current grant opportunities that may apply to local governments in Southeast Michigan. It is not an exhaustive list, but a compilation of opportunities made available to SEMCOG.

New SEMCOG report: Community and Economic Development Resource Guide for Local Governments

This report identifies grants and other resources available to communities for housing and neighborhood stabilization, community revitalization, and economic development. It provides a brief overview of key formula and competitive grants available to local communities from federal and state agencies generally associated with community and economic development. The guide also includes a number of technical assistance and loan programs that local communities can use to supplement other resources. View the report.  

Community and Economic Development

Environmental Protection Agency – Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grants
Deadline: September 22, 2014

EPA is announcing the availability of funding to eligible entities who wish to develop an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. This funding is for research, technical assistance, and/or training activities directed to one or more brownfield site(s) located in a specific area (such as a neighborhood, district, local commercial corridor, community waterfront or city block). Each project funded under this grant must result in an area-wide plan which includes specific plan implementation strategies for assessing, cleaning up, and reusing the brownfields site(s) as well as related brownfields and project area revitalization strategies.

EPA anticipates awarding approximately 20 projects in total, funded at up to $200,000 each. Please note that applicants who received a BF AWP grant from EPA in Fiscal Year 2010 or 2013 are not eligible to apply under this competition.

For more information, visit the EPA’s Brownfields Grants website, or for application information.


U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Development's Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan Program
Deadline: Rolling

The purpose of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. This purpose is achieved by bolstering the existing private credit structure through the guarantee of quality loans which will provide lasting community benefits. A borrower may be a cooperative organization, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity organized and operated on a profit or nonprofit basis; an Indian tribe on a Federal or State reservation or other Federally recognized tribal group; a public body; or an individual. For more information, please visit the USDA Business Assistance website.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality: Water Quality Monitoring Grants
Deadline: August 29, 2014

Starting July 14, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting proposals for water quality monitoring projects from local governments and nonprofit organizations.

The two-year projects will be funded using Clean Michigan Initiative-Clean Water Fund dollars. DEQ will award a total of $300,000 for non-beach water quality monitoring projects and $200,000 for inland beach grants. To provide background information and answer questions, DEQ will host a webinar for potential applicants on July 18. For more information or to register, visit

For more information about the grant and to submit proposals after July 14, please visit the DEQ grants webpage.

Michigan Forestry and Park Association – Community Tree Planting Grants
Deadline: August 29, 2014

The Michigan Forestry and Park Association has partnered with The Consumers Energy Company to provide municipalities with tree planting projects on lands open to the public. Applications will be accepted from local municipalities within Consumers Energy’s electric service area only.

Projects eligible for funding under Consumers Energy’s Community Tree Planting Grant Program are tree planting projects such as city streets, boulevards, and parks. Reimbursement shall be $100 per tree and a maximum of $2,000 per municipality.

Correspondence regarding the grant application and review should be directed to Bob Cool, MFPA at 517-204-6122 or by email to A copy of the grant application is available on the MFPA website:

Environmental Protection Agency – Shoreline Cities Grant
Deadline: September 1, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award grants totaling up to $4.5 million to eligible shoreline cities (cities that have shoreline touching a Great Lake or connecting channel) to fund green infrastructure projects that will improve Great Lakes water quality. In 2014, shoreline cities with a population greater than 25,000 and less than 50,000 will be eligible to apply for green infrastructure grants of up to $250,000.

Cities can use the grants to cover up to 50 percent of the cost of:

  • rain gardens,
  • bioswales,
  • green roofs,
  • porous pavement,
  • greenways,
  • constructed wetlands,
  • stormwater tree trenches and
  • other green infrastructure measures installed on public property.

Project costs may include costs for design, engineering, and/or working with stakeholders and residents; however, at least 75% of the total costs (EPA funding plus non-EPA funding) must be for on-the-ground implementation of green infrastructure. EPA will allow the use of in -kind services for up to 50 percent of the city’s contribution. For detailed eligibility requirements and application information, please visit the Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Grants website.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Urban and Community Forestry Grants
Deadline: September 12, 2014

The Department of Natural Resources announced the availability of up to $100,000 for the 2014 Community Forestry Grants program. Local units of government, nonprofit organizations, schools and tribal governments are eligible and encouraged to apply for the grants, which can be used for a variety of projects including:

  • Street and park tree management and planning activities. 
  • Urban forestry and arboriculture-related training and education events. 
  • Tree plantings. 
  • Arbor Day celebrations and materials.

Depending on the project type, applicants may request grants up to $20,000. All grants require a one-to-one match of funds, which can be made of cash contributions or in-kind services, but cannot include federal funds. For a grant application or more information, visit the DNR website at, contact Kevin Sayers at 517-284-5898 or, or write to DNR Forest Resources Division, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909-7952.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program
Deadline: September 30, 2014

The Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. Estimated total program funding is $6 million with an individual award ceiling of $500,000. Closing date for applications is September 30, 2014. Applicants seeking funding under this program should review the program strategic plan and also contact the regional Coastal Program office prior to submitting an application for funding.

U.S. Forest Service – The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program
Deadline: January 16, 2015

This is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller. The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits. Some of these benefits include sustainable forest management; clean air, water, wildlife habitat, and other environmental benefits: forest-based educational programs; service as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access.

The Administration proposed to fund the CFP at $1.683 million for fiscal year 2015. Individual grant applications may not exceed $400,000. All applicants must demonstrate a 50 percent match of the total project cost. The match can include cash, in-kind services, or donations, which shall be from a non-Federal source. For more information, please visit the U.S.F.S. Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program website.


Michigan Department of Transportation – Call for Safety Projects
Deadline: September 15, 2014

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is pleased to announce the solicitation of new applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Local Safety Program. Federal funds for the Local Safety Program are to be used for highway safety improvements on the local roadway system. All locally controlled roadways, regardless of National Functional Classification, are eligible. The FY 2016 federal budget for this program is estimated at $15,000,000. This amount may be subject to revisions based on approval of the future federal highway bill.

Local agencies may submit more than one project application for consideration. Federal safety funds shall not exceed $600,000 per project or a maximum of $2,000,000 per Local Agency for the fiscal year. FY 2016 projects are to be developed and obligated between October 1, 2015 and August 26, 2016.

For more information, please visit MDOT’s Safety Program website.

Ongoing grant opportunities

Allstate Foundation

Funding programs at the national, regional, and local levels. Learn more

CVS Caremark Community Grants

This program provides financial assistance to nonprofit organizations that provide various services in communities including health care access, wellness, and prevention programs.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

In FY 2011, SEMCOG was awarded a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As a result, the entire Southeast Michigan region has been designated with Preferred Sustainability Status (PSS), meaning applicants for certain other HUD discretionary grants can be awarded 2 bonus points on their applications. Interested applicants should visit SEMCOG’s PSS webpage.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The DNR's Grants webpage includes several resources, including a list of available grants by type.

MiRecGrants is Michigan DNR's homebase for local units of government applying for Michigan Recreation Grants. It hosts the creation, management, submission, tracking, and amending of grant applications and awarded grants.

Grant writing resources

American Grant Writers' Association - find information on hiring a Certified Grant Writer. 

Grant Writing USA provides grant writing and grant management workshops through the United States.

SEMCOG members may request a scholarship for a two-day workshop on grant writing or grant management. The grant writing covers how to write grant proposals start to finish and how to locate and track relevant grant opportunities. Federal, state, local and non-governmental, private sector grants are covered. You'll learn everything you need to know to get started writing grants. Contact Susan Stefanski for more information.

View a list of previous grant-funded projects within SEMCOG's AgileGov database.