(INDIANAPOLIS) – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) today announced the third phase of COVID-19 Response Program is now open for applications.
“The COVID-19 Response Program is more critical than ever, not only because it helps local communities that are working to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because it helps communities prepare for future transitions on their own terms,” Crouch said. “With additional federal funding, we were able to provide an additional round of this valued program.”
Beginning in April, OCRA began addressing COVID-19 impact on Indiana communities. It has since awarded 112 grants to 62 communities, totaling more than $20.9 million through the COVID-19 Response Program.
For this round, eligible applicants include non-entitlement and entitlement local units of government and can apply for up to $250,000. The eligible activities include mental health services, childcare services, public WiFi locations, food pantry or bank services, subsidence payment programs, or grants or loans to businesses to retain low-to-moderate (LMI) jobs. Phase 3 is a competitive process and communities that received an award in either previous phase may apply again.
“Based on additional research and community feedback, OCRA was able to open this round to municipalities of all sizes,” said Denny Spinner, Executive Director of OCRA. “Our main goal is to continue to address COVID-19 and remind communities that we are in this together.”
Proposals are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. However, applicants are encouraged to submit by 4 p.m. ET as there will be no technical support available after that time. Proposal submission will be collected via the electronic Grants Management System. Applications are due by Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 with funding awards being announced on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
In March, Governor Eric Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-05 that allowed OCRA to redirect Community Development Block Grant funds to assist with COVID-19 needs, based on guidance from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
An informational webinar will be held Wednesday, Dec. 9 that further explains this phase of the program. More information can be found at in.gov/ocra/3010.htm or communities may contact the respective OCRA Community Liaison.