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 econfigure 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.
Main Street Grants Notice of Funding Availability
The FY 2014-15 Main Street Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) was issued by HUD on July 4, 2014 and announced approximately $500,000 available for award. The deadline date for application submission was August 18, 2014. An award in the amount of $500,000 was made on September 25, 2014. For further information on the NOFA applicants and the awardee, click HERE.
Congress appropriates funds for Main Street annually. Although the latest NOFA allows for awards in both FY 2014 and FY2015, funds are only available for the current fiscal year. FY 2015 funds have not yet been appropriated for this program. The award of FY 2015 Main Street funds to FY 2014 applicants is contingent upon future congressional action. HUD’s intent to award FY 2015 funds to FY 2014 applicants will be announced separately if such funds become available.
Note that the NOFA includes HUD's General Section NOFA by reference. The General Section includes HUD-wide requirements and application instructions. There are some very important requirements in the General Section that, if not addressed in an application, may cause the application to be rejected without being rated or ranked. If the Main Street NOFA and the General Section contain conflicting information, the Main Street program area NOFA prevails. During the application period, the General Section is part of the Grants.gov downloadable Application Instructions, which will be available on the Grants.Gov website. Outside of the application period, the most current Main Street program NOFA and the most recent General Section can be obtained HERE.
Applications have to be submitted electronically to Grants.gov, and applicants have to register or renew their registration before the application deadline. Registration may take up to three weeks. Detailed registration instructions are included in HUD's General Section.
Regardless of the program NOFA published through links on this website, the only official version of the NOFA was available on Grants.gov during the application period.
Main Street Program Summaries
Most Recent NOFA
Financial GuidanceBudget Guidance
Main Street Grant Closeout Procedures
Relevant Statutes, Regulations and Notices