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Planning Grants

Planning grants are funded with Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The goal of the program is to encourage communities to plan for long-term holistic community development.

Program components

To be competitive, projects must demonstrate:

  • They meet a goal of the Federal Act (Section 105 (a) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974)
  • The particular planning project addresses established long-term community priorities;
  • The funds granted will have a significant impact on the overall project;
  • The community has demonstrated a strong commitment to the project and its sustainability; and
  • The project is ready to proceed upon grant award and will be completed within 12 months.

Maximum grant amounts and local match requirement

The following maximum grant awards have been established by OCRA for Planning Grant recipients:

  • Water Utilities Infrastructure studies are limited as follows:
    • $60,000 for a study on two utilities, and
    • $90,000 for a master utility study (water, wastewater, and stormwater).

*Note: All utilities controlled by the community must be covered by the study.

*For questions regarding water infrastructure planning, please contact your local OCRA community liaison, found here.

  • Comprehensive plans are limited as follows:
    • Populations over 10,000 are limited to $60,000, and
    • Populations under 10,000 are limited to $50,000
  • Economic Recovery plans are limited to $50,000.
  • Broadband Readiness plans are limited to $50,000 for a single community; $70,000 for a region.
  • Public Facilities Feasibility studies are limited to $20,000.
  • Economic Development plans are limited to $40,000
  • Environmental Assessments are limited to $20,000
  • Historic Preservation plans are limited to $20,000
  • Downtown Revitalization plans are limited as follows:

Populations over 2,000 are limited to $40,000, and

Populations under 2,000 are limited to $30,000

The maximum award is not intended to serve as a target figure for requests for grant assistance. OCRA will review the level of grant assistance requested and will consider the appropriateness of the project’s scope, the level of demonstrated need, and the financial resources of the applicant. If OCRA determines that a lesser amount is appropriate, it may be necessary to revise the project before it is submitted in final form. A minimum local match of 10% of the total project cost will be required for funding consideration.

Application timeline and process

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on May 17, 2024, via the Indiana Electronic Grants Management System. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications prior to 4 p.m. ET on May 17, 2024, as technical assistance will not be available after that time.

Plans funded by the Planning Grant Program must meet the following minimum requirements per the plan type. (View policies page)

For any questions regarding Planning Grants, please contact