The Main Street program seeks to rejuvenate older, downtown business districts while retaining the area's traditional and Historic character. To do this, the Main Street program provides 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.
In December, 2003, the American Dream Downpayment Act became law. This Act amended Section 24 of the Housing Act of 1937, the statute that controls the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Part of the Act set aside a portion of all future Choice Neighborhoods funds for grants to small communities that have Main Street rejuvenation projects in progress. The Act limited the size of communities that are eligible for these grants.
Only units of general local government, as defined in each current 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 build new affordable housing or reconfigure obsolete or surplus commercial space (or extremely substandard, vacant housing) into affordable housing units. The grant funds cannot be used on general infrastructure or commercial development. The funds in the NOFA must be used to assist Units of Local Government that have existing Main Street area rejuvenation projects and have the population and public housing unit limits stated above. Main Street housing units must be affordable to the initial residents that occupy the Main Street housing project.
The FY 2016-2017 Main Street Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) was issued on February 10, 2016, and announced approximately $500,000 available for award. The deadline date for application submission was April 12, 2016. Per the FY 2016-2017 NOFA, funds will be awarded to eligible applicants that apply in FY 2016 under the above NOFA. FY 2016 funds have been appropriated and are available for award. FY 2017 funds have not yet been appropriated for this program. HUD intends to award a similar grant in FY 2017 to the highest ranking applicant for the FY 2016 NOFA that did not receive a Main Street grant from the NOFA. The award of FY 2017 Main Street funds for FY 2016 applicants is contingent upon future congressional action. HUD’s intent to award FY 2017 funds to FY 2016 applicants will be announced separately if such funds become available.
Eligible applicants are limited to Units of General Local Government (primarily subdivisions of a State) that have a population of 50,000 or fewer and 100 or fewer physical public housing units within the Local Government's jurisdiction and that are otherwise in conformance with the threshold requirements in the NOFA.
The FY 2016-2017 Main Street NOFA closed on April 12, 2016 and a grant from the NOFA was awarded on August 10, 2016. The NOFA is available on HUD’s Funds Availability page HERE, without its attachments.
In order to receive automatic email notice of NOFAs, subscribe to email notifications at www.Grants.gov. On the “Search Grants” page, search on “CFDA”. The Main Street program’s Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number is 14.878.