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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

Michigan Economic Development Corporation Crowdfunding Michigan: Invest on Main Street
Deadline: Rolling

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has launched a community development opportunity that focuses on creating public spaces to increase a community’s attractiveness. In partnership with the Michigan Municipal League and Detroit-based crowdfunding portal Patronicity, communities and non-profits can raise donations to revitalize or create public spaces, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will match funds raised dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, if they can reach their goal. Crowdfunding is an easy and innovative way for community projects to gain public interest and raise money by being able to leverage donations of all sizes.

This is the first program of its kind in the country, where local residents can be part of the development of transformational projects in their communities and be backed with matching dollars by the State. The grant program is available to municipalities and non-profits for projects that focus on activation of public spaces such as an outdoor plaza or park enhancements and that established public awareness and momentum. To apply or receive additional information, please visit the Patronicity website.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Main Street Revitalization Grant
Deadline: August 18, 2014

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced the availability of $500,000 in funding to rejuvenate older, downtown business districts while retaining the area's traditional and Historic character. The purpose of the HOPE VI Main Street Program is to provide assistance to smaller communities in the development of affordable housing that is undertaken in connection with a Main Street revitalization effort. Obsolete commercial offices or buildings can be reconfigured into rent producing affordable housing.

Only units of general local government, as defined in the NOFA, are eligible to apply.  The primary eligibility requirements are that the applicant:

  • Be a local government (subdivision of a State or Territory);
  • Have a population of 50,000 or less within its jurisdiction; and
  • Have 100 or fewer physical public housing units within its jurisdiction.

In general, the grant funds can be used to reconfigure obsolete or surplus commercial space (or extremely substandard, vacant housing) into, or build new, Main Street affordable housing units.  The grant funds cannot be used on general infrastructure or commercial development. For more information, visit the HUD Main Street Grants website.

National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) – Health Impact Assessment
Deadline: August 22, 2014
Optional Teleconference: August 5, 2015 1:00 p.m. EDT

NACCHO is currently accepting applications for Health Impact Assessments led by Local Health Departments (LHD). Selected LHDs will receive funding and support to complete an HIA on a transportation, land use, community design, parks and recreation, or energy policy, project, plan, or program.

Approximately 3 awards of up to $15,000 each will be awarded to engage in activities that will lead to the completion of an Health Impact Assessment during the project period, September 2014 - June 2015. For additional application information, please visit the NACCHO Health Impact Assessment website.

NACCHO and CDC staff will host an optional teleconference for interested applications on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EDT. Register for the call here.

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 Natural Resources – 2015 Wildlife Habitat Grants
Deadline: August 12, 2014

The Wildlife Habitat Grant Program purpose is to provide funding to local, state, federal and tribal units of government, profit or non-profit groups, and individuals to assist the Wildlife Division with developing or improving wildlife habitat for game species. The minimum grant amount is $15,000 and the maximum grant amount you can apply for is the amount of funds appropriated in a given fiscal year. The 2015 overall available grant amount is approximately $1 million. The required partner cost share (match) for approved projects is 10 percent of the total project. The detailed program handbook and application are available on the DNR’s Wildlife Habitat Grant website.

Michigan Arbor Day Alliance – Tree Planting Grant
Deadline: August 15, 2014

The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance is providing grants to local units of government to plant trees to enhance community tree canopy cover. This grant is part of the Go Green Youth Challenge, which raised the funds for this grant opportunity. Applicants can request up to $2,000 for the purchase of trees, however there is a 1:1 required match. For more information, please visit the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance website.

Environmental Protection Agency – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Deadline: August 25, 2014
Informational Webinar: July 29, 2014 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a Request for Applications soliciting proposals from states, municipalities, tribes, universities and nonprofit organizations for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to fund new projects to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Approximately $27.5 million may be awarded as grants and/or cooperative agreements under this RFA for up to about 30 projects in the three categories:

  • Invasive Species Control 
    EPA expects to provide approximately $7,000,000 for approximately 10 projects under this category that will eradicate and/or control invasive species already present in the Great Lakes ecosystem.
  • Watershed Management Implementation
    EPA expects to provide approximately $5,500,000 for approximately 8 to 15 projects to reduce nonpoint source pollution to the Great Lakes in areas outside of the Lower Fox River, Saginaw River, and Maumee River watersheds.
  • Sediment Reduction Projects in Priority Watersheds
    EPA expects to provide approximately $15,000,000 (for approximately 3 to 5 cooperative agreements to be incrementally funded each year) to reduce sediment and associated nutrient transport from the Lower Fox River, Maumee River, and Saginaw River to their respective Great Lake.

There is no cost-sharing or matching requirement as a condition of eligibility. For the detailed Request for Applications and information on the Webinar, please visit the EPA’s GLRI 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.

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.

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. Department of Transportation – Ladders of Opportunity
Deadline: August 4, 2014

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the availability of approximately $100 million for public transportation providers to finance capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. Projects may include costs incidental to the acquisition of buses or to the construction of facilities, such as the costs of related workforce development and training activities, and project development.

Funding for FTA’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative is drawn from leftover/remaining discretionary grant funds originally available prior to the enactment of MAP-21, as part of FTA’s Bus and Bus Facilities Program. FTA will cover up to 80 percent of the total project cost; a 20 percent local match is required. For more information, visit U.S. DOT’s Ladders of Opportunity grant webpage.

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

Competitive Grant Assistance Program
Deadlines: December 31 and June 30 of each year

The purpose of the grant program is to provide incentive-based grants to stimulate smaller, more efficient government and encourage mergers, consolidations, and cooperations between two or more qualified jurisdictions. The grants are to offset the costs associated with mergers, interlocal agreements, and cooperative efforts for cities, villages, townships, counties, authorities, school districts, intermediate school districts, public community colleges, and public universities that elect to combine government operations.

The program is focused on stimulating projects between two or more qualified jurisdictions that are creating new mergers, consolidations, and/or cooperative efforts/collaborations of existing services.


All Michigan cities, villages, townships, counties, authorities, school districts, intermediate school districts, public community colleges, and public universities are eligible. For an authority, school district, intermediate school district, public community college, or public university to qualify for grant funding under this program, the authority, school district, intermediate school district, public community college, or public university must combine operations with a city, village, township, or county.

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.