Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) – Rural Economic Area Development Initiative (READI) Program: Overview 

CDBG – Rural Economic Area Development Initiative (READI) Program

READI is for non-entitlement Units of General Local Government (UGLG) (excludes Milwaukee, Waukesha, Dane Counties and municipalities with pop. > 50,000) that intend to grant the CDBG funds to Community Development Organizations (CDO’s).  The CDO will make loans to eligible businesses and developers.  This process follows the guidelines established in the Housing and Community Development Act, Section 105 (a) (15).  READI uses CDBG funding to provide targeted economic development investment in either a single unit of general local government or a rural region.  All applications for READI funding must include the DOA-certified CDO that will administer the grant.

CDBG funds have been allocated to capitalize the READI program. READI applications must include both an economic development project as well as a housing project.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a jobs training component as well.  Grantees may receive up to $1 million, as follows: $500,000 for Economic Development, $300,000 for Workforce Housing, and $200,000 for Job Training. 

CDBG funding requires that all projects must meet one of three National Objectives; however, under READI, all projects must benefit of persons of low and moderate income (LMI).

  • Economic Development Priorities under READI: facilitate economic development and job creation for low to moderate income (LMI) persons.

  • Housing Priorities under READI: rehabilitate and/or expand housing stock in rural communities to ensure housing opportunities exist for low to moderate income households.

  • Job Training Priorities under READI: provide training resources and opportunities which ensure that LMI individuals have the necessary skills for the newly created positions.

More details on READI, including application information, click here

READI Application Training Registration

Would you like an informational presentation on READI at your organization’s next meeting?

DOA Certified CDO's

Community Development Organization (CDO) Certification Under READI  

CDBG - Rural Economic Area Development Initiative (READI) Application Materials - Application Packet - Subject to Updates