Is My Community Eligible?
If the answer is yes to all the questions below your community may be eligible to request a "Reduction or Waiver of Financial Match Requirements" and assistance from REDI.
- Does your community have an employment base that is dominated by traditional agricultural or resource-based industries? To ensure your community meets this criteria utilize the "On The Map" tool produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. On the left side of the screen under "Search" type in the name and state of your community (ex. Sweetgum, Florida), select "Places (Cities, CDPs, etc.)" from the drop down menu, then select "Search." Select your community from the list of results, when a map appears in the right side of the screen, click on "Perform Analysis on Selection Area" and the "Analysis Settings" page will open. Select work/area profile/the most current year/all jobs click on "Go" then select "Detailed Report" under the "Report/Map Outputs" toolbar found on the left-side of the screen. To meet the first criteria, "Agriculture" or "Mining" must in the top four industries under "Jobs by NAICS Industry Sector"
- Is the population of your community 25,000 or less?
- Is your community an unincorporated federal enterprise community, or an incorporated rural city that is not located in a designated rural county?
- Does your community have at least three or more economic distress factors equal to or greater than similar designated rural communities?
Local economic distress factors
- low per capita income
- low per capita taxable values
- high unemployment
- high underemployment
- low weekly earned wages
- low housing values
- high percentages of the population receiving public assistance
- high poverty levels
To qualify, applicants must submit a request and current documentation that shows the local employment base is focused on traditional agriculture or a resource base industry (forestry, mining, fishing, hunting, quarrying, oil and gas extraction); and current data showing the community has at least three or more economic distress factors at least 25 percent greater than the state average.
The following can assist with the most recent community labor statistics, percentage of students participating in the free lunch program, housing values, property tax values, census tracts, land use maps, etc.:
"On the Map" is a good tool to use for defining the local employment base; agriculture or resource based industries must fall within the top three industries.
All submissions must include the most current data available, census tract number/s of the area to be included, and backup documentation of all sources. Please send request to the attention of:
- Sherri Martin
- The Department of Economic Opportunity
- Division of Community Development
- 107 East Madison Street
- Tallahassee, FL 32399
- Phone: (850) 717-8520
Upon verification, a letter of eligibility will be provided to qualified communities. The designation for a community that is not located in a "Rural County" is good for one year from the date on the letter of eligibility. A new request and updated documentation must be submitted on an annual basis on or before the expiration date to continue designation.