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COVID-19 Response Program


On March 19, Governor Holcomb took additional actions to protect and support Hoosiers during the COVID-19 outbreak with Executive Order 20-05. This order directs multiple state agencies on the expectations of providing support and protection to Hoosiers across the State. The Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) has therefore been issued the following action item:

  • Community Development Block Grant funds may be redirected to assist with COVID-19 needs based on guidance from the United States Housing and Urban Development.

COVID-19 Response Program was created to address the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on Indiana’s rural communities. Funds are derived from the State’s annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation and guidance was provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on how the funds were to be used. 

  • Communitites can apply to up to $250,000 per application;
  • Activities are should be immediate, within the next three months;
  • A long-term recovery phase is coming in the near future.

On April 1, the COVID-19 Response Program launched and, over the course of two weeks, received 108 Letters of Need, totaling an estimated $23 million in requests. On April 22, Lt. Governor Crouch announced the first 13 recipients of this program. This is a rolling award process and more projects will be announced as they continue to be evaluated and reviewed by OCRA. 

  • Click here to read the press release with descriptions of what each community will do with their funding. 

On April 30, an additional 49 rural Hoosier communities received more than $8.8 million in federal grant funding through the new COVID-19 Response Program. “With today’s announcement, Indiana has awarded more than $10.7 million to our rural communities,” said Lt. Governor Crouch. “From increasing access to necessary testing and medical supplies to providing businesses and their workers with much needed relief, these funds are directly assisting in the fight against COVID-19.”


Program Critieria

  • Must be a non-entitlement local unit of government;
  • Cannot have any unresolved findings or overdue documents;
  • Must meet a National Objective and Eligible Activity;
  • Must hold at least one public hearing before release of funds, and a second at closeout;
  • Applicant can show they have the capacity to complete the activity:
    • Activity is considered an exempt or categorically excluded subject to activity for Environmental Review;
    • Applicant has already achieved site control;
  • Communities will work directly with OCRA through the application and administration process:
    • Each grant will be guided by respective Community Liaison, unless the request requires the guidance of the CDBG Program Director;
    • Community and the OCRA staff member will work together to develop the project;
    • Procuring a Grant Administrator is optional for the COVID-19 Response program;
  • Administration costs from CDBG funds is limited to 2.5% of the request.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Letters of Need will no longer be accepted after 4 p.m. ET on April 14, 2020.

Individual Programs

Public Facilities: Maximum grant amount $250,000

Project Type Eligible Activities
Convert a public building into a health facility

-Testing, diagnosis, or treatment

-Minor adjustments to the facility that assist in addressing immediate needs related to COVID-19*

-Split rooms for smaller rooms with temporary walls

-Expand electrical and other utilities to meet the needs of medical equipment

Rehabilitate a facility to centralize Treatment

-Provide treatment
-Convert building that had a prior use (ex. hotel or old school)
-Focus on a specific group of patients
-Minor adjustments to the facility that assist in addressing immediate needs related to COVID-19*

To be considered Exempt from Environmental Review work done must be of a limited scope to address immediate needs related to COVID-19. 

If the work has a longer-term benefit or would broaden the use of the facility after the COVID-19 pandemic then a Categorically Excluded subject to review would need to be completed.

Public Services (15% cap): Maximum grant amount $250,000

Project Type Eligible Activities
Provide Testing, Diagnosis, or other Services -Supplies and operations
-Fixed or mobile location
-Everyone in an area or focus on a specific group
Increase capacity of local Health Services -Bring in outside health service providers
-Fixed or mobile location
-Everyone in an area or focus on a specific group
Establish Delivery Service to provide supplies -Deliver needed supplies to quarantined individuals or those that are medically vulnerable 
-Focus on a specific group
-Supplies could include: meals, medications, hygiene supplies


Economic Development: Maximum grant amount $250,000

Project Type Eligible Activities
Grants to Business to Retain LMI Jobs -Working capital
-Continue operations
-Support remote work
Loans to Business to Retain LMI Jobs -Working capital
-Continue operations
-Support remote work

Additional Requirements:
-Requires existing Revolving Loan Fund or similar instrument 
-Loans must be made at 0% interest
-Can be forgivable

Questions should be directed to your respective Community Liaison or email info@ocra.in.gov.


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