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Hoosier Enduring Legacy Fund (HELP)

Grants to Indiana Communities to Improve Capacity and Infrastructure
and Address Needs During the Coronavirus Crisis

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA)

Conf. Date:

08/18/21

Deadline Date:

10/01/21 4:00 PM ET

Description:

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Grants to Indiana communities to improve capacity and infrastructure for the benefit of local residents. Funded projects include assistance necessitated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Funding is intended to enhance connectivity services, promote community wellness, improve environment and community infrastructure, and boost the local economy.

The Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program supports communities directly by building capacity, creating a peer network system between communities participating in the program, developing a strategic investment plan and providing access to set-aside funding. Through HELP, OCRA and its partners will employ community engagement, prior planning efforts, and asset building strategies to reengage communities in preparing for the future while building local leadership capacity. The program will amplify the impact of the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, or CLFRF, of which $1.28 billion has been allocated directly to Indiana communities through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA.

HELP is a 52-week process culminating in a dynamic Strategic Investment Plan rooted in four pathways:
  • Advancing e-Connectivity: Seeks to aid communities by increasing or improving broadband access services, promoting digital inclusion, and supporting businesses and organizations that focus on broadband access and technological innovation. Possible initiatives include Digital Adoption Support,  Digital Ready Businesses, and Intelligent Communities.
  • Promoting Community Wellness: Seeks to expand and improve infrastructure and initiatives related to people. Public health is important to overall community wellness. Possible initiatives include Mental Health, Parks and Trails, Healthy Food Markets in Food Deserts, ADA accessibility, Walkability/Bike Lanes/Public Transit to healthcare, Childcare, and Blue Zones.
  • Enhancing Quality of Place: Focuses on improvements to the built environment and community infrastructure. Possible initiatives include Arts and Culture, Housing, Community Facilities, Historic Preservation, Youth Engagement, Gateway Beautification, and Main Street Redevelopment.
  • Strengthening Local Economies: Helps communities grow and support robust local and regional entrepreneurship cultivation through innovative programs and capital investments. Possible initiatives include Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, Economic Gardening, Small Business Revolving Loan Fund, Business Retention and Expansion, Workforce Development, Business Networks, and Co-Working Spaces. 

The HELP process and implementation of the resultant Strategic Investment Plan ultimately seeks to build long-term capacity, develop attainable projects and leave a legacy in the community. 

Expected Program Impact:

  • Building Community Capacity through a local Community Coordinator position to guide the community through the program process and SIP implementation
  • Welcoming Your Community Back Home by reconnecting to the larger community through creative engagement opportunities
  • Peer Networking with other HELP Communities as well as various state agencies
  • Strengthening ARPA Confidence through in-depth training on eligible uses of CLFRF with OCRA
  • Training and Technical Assistance from OCRA, institutions of higher education, and statewide leaders in community development
  • Strategic Investment Plan & Dashboard that includes high-quality data prepared about your community
  • Access to set-aside funding for participatory budgeting project and SIP implementation from OCRA and other statewide partners

Local Unit of Government Responsibilities:

  • Building a Core Team, as well as four separate Pathways Teams with input from the Core Team
  • Planning, promoting and hosting a Community Forum and other diverse community engagement opportunities

Funded projects:

  • A response to the public health emergency caused by or the negative impacts directly attributable to COVID-19;
  • Any provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue;
  • Providing premium pay to essential workers;
  • Necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure; and
  • Direct aid to Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) or other communities adversely impacted by the public health crisis.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 198028

Number of Grants:

In total, this program will assist 12 communities/regions (no more than 4 communities or regions in each of the 3 cohort groups).

Estimated Size of Grant:

OCRA will be providing $20,000 to each selected community to fund the position of community coordinator in the first year.

Term of Contract:

HELP is a 52-week process, with implementation ongoing until December 2026.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any incorporated Indiana community of any size that is not entitled to direct Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through U.S. HUD is eligible to apply. (See list of 21 entitlement communities and 2 entitlement counties in Indiana at https://www.in.gov/ocra/files/HELP-FAQ.pdf#page=1.)

Eligible Communities
- OCRA will be designating no more than 4 communities or regions in each of the 3 cohort groups. Each cohort group will have program start dates spaced 6 months apart. In total, this program will assist 12 communities/regions.
- Cities, counties, and non-entitlement units of government, or NEUs, that received a CLFRF allocation are eligible to apply as an individual community or as a region.
- Regional Applicants: While NEUs and their respective counties may apply as a group, due to the distribution of CLFRF, regional applicants may not cross county lines. Regional applications are restricted to those within a single county.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An Informational Webinar will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 18, from 3:00 to 4:00 EST.

Join a live Q&A Session on OCRA's Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program hosted by Director of Strategic Initiatives Andrea Kern.

To register for the Webinar: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=ur-ZIQmkE0-wxBi0WTPYjaq00Ks1smZKhjpULxvXgvpUNEU4Ukw5SEszN1JUUFM0UkJMNVJBUE8wSC4u

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline:
- Program Opens – Tuesday, Aug. 10
- Informational Webinar – Aug. 18
- Applications Open - Monday, Sept. 6
- Applications Due- 4 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 1
- Cohorts Announced- Friday, Nov. 5

Applications will be submitted via the online eGMS system beginning September 6, 2021.

Applicants are encouraged to initially contact their respective Community Liaison to discuss the program; or you may connect with OCRA's HELP Program Director, Andrea Kern, to discuss program eligibility and competitiveness.

Participation by the Local Unit of Government is key to the success of the program. Communication with all State partners will be essential throughout the 12 -month process.

The timeframe of the 52-week process will ideally be broken down into four phases:
- 26 weeks of Team and Community Collaboration
- 14 weeks of Pathways Assessments & Project Identification
- 12 weeks of SIP Development
- Implementation ongoing until December 2026

Match:
- Communities are required to supply a $20,000 local match to fund a Community Coordinator position, and they are encouraged to provide a minimum $40,000 to support this position in subsequent years for SIP implementation.
- Proof of Match and intent to create this position through an adopted local resolution is required with application submission.
- Minimum 30% of the community’s CLFRF allocation to projects in the SIP
- OCRA will match the community investment 1-1 for the implementation of SIP projects (up to $1 million).

CDBG and CARES Act funds from OCRA, as well as other funding sources from our state partners, will be available for SIP implementation to communities who complete HELP.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Andrea Kern
HELP Program Director
akern1@ocra.in.gov

For a list of Community Liaisons, see https://www.in.gov/ocra/newsroom/community-liaisons/.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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