US Department of Agriculture

Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Grants

This program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities with predevelopment feasibility studies, design and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

Funds may be used for the following:

Predevelopment planning costs, including:

The predevelopment planning costs must be related to a proposed project that meets the following requirements:


Maximum Award Amount

Grants are subject to the availability of funds.

Cost Matching


Eligible Applicants

  • Most state and local governmental entities
  • Nonprofits
  • Federally recognized tribes

Areas to be served must be rural and financially distressed:

  • Rural areas with a population of 2,500 or less
  • Have a median household income below the poverty line or less than 80 percent of the statewide non-metropolitan median household income based on latest Census data


Find Out More and Apply