Community  |  Community Grants, Loans, Bonds, and Tax Credits


Community Grants, Loans, Bonds, and Tax Credits

Contact Information

For more information call (800) 848-1300 or submit a question.  

It is the mission of the Ohio Development Services Agency to help create jobs and build strong communities in Ohio, while ensuring accountability and transparency of taxpayer money exceptional customer service.

The Community Services Division works to build safe neighborhoods, vibrant downtowns, and reliable infrastructure to support job creation. Below are programs that support this mission. For more information about a program click on the title or call (614) 466-5863.

The Abandoned Gas Station Cleanup Grant will provide funding to assess and clean up BUSTR Class C sites (underground storage tanks with documented petroleum releases). Local government entities who own the eligible property or who have an agreement with the landowner may apply. The applicant and property owner cannot have contributed to the prior release of petroleum or other hazardous substance on the site.

The Alternative Fuel Transportation Program is a state program that improves air quality through financial assistance to businesses, nonprofit organizations, school districts, or local governments for the purchase and installation of alternative fuel refueling, blending, or distribution facilities and terminals.

The Alternative Stormwater Infrastructure Loan Program offers below-market rate loans for the design and construction of green infrastructure as part of economic development projects. Up to $5,000,000 in loan funds per project are available to governmental entities through the program. Development partners are encouraged to partner with the governmental entity for their projects. The funds can pay for design, demolition, construction, materials and administrative costs associated with the green infrastructure project. This program targets a specific challenge of redevelopment projects by reducing the cost to businesses and communities that need to minimize both the financial and environmental impact of their stormwater runoff. 

The Community Development Block Grant Program is administered by the Office of Community Development and provides federal funding to communities to address a variety of needs. Below are the programs available to communities through the Ohio Development Services Agency Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Community Development provides a flexible community development resource to address locally identified needs that are eligible CDBG activities and qualify under the national objective of Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Benefit or Elimination of Slum and Blight. Ohio's non-entitlement counties and cities are eligible to apply and can use the CDBG funds for housing rehabilitation, economic development and public works improvements. The program is divided into two components: the Formula Allocation Grants and the Neighborhood Revitalization Grants (NRG).

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development Program creates and retains permanent, private sector job opportunities for low- and moderate-income citizens through the expansion and retention of business and industry in Ohio communities through Fixed Assets Loans and Public Off-site Infrastructure Assistance. Non-entitlement cities and counties may apply on behalf of for-profit businesses committing to create at least five jobs within its jurisdiction.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Public Infrastructure provides funding to ensure a safe and sanitary living environment through the provision of safe and reliable drinking water and proper disposal of sanitary waste in distressed communities with a low- and moderate-income population of at least 51 percent.

The Community Development Target of Opportunity Grant Programs provide a means to fund worthwhile community and economic development projects and activities that do not fit within the structure of existing programs, and provide supplemental resources to resolve immediate and unforeseen needs.

Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Competitive Operating Grant Program provides operating support to organizations to continue affordable housing development. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) administers the CHDO, which is funded through the federal HOME Program.

Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) provides funding to local governments for the improvement and provision of affordable housing for LMI citizens. CHIP funds are distributed in one competitive funding round. A community is allowed to submit only one application in any application round.

The Energy Loan Fund is a program that provides low-cost financing to public & nonprofit organizations for energy improvements that reduce energy usage and associated costs, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and/or create or retain jobs. Funding is provided through the Advanced Energy Fund and federal State Energy Program and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Eligible activities include energy retrofits, energy distribution technologies and renewable energy technologies. Projects must achieve 15 percent reduction in energy usage, demonstrate economic and environmental impacts and be included within a long-term energy strategy of the community served.

The Homeless Assistance Grant Program provides grants to eligible applicants for emergency shelter, supportive housing, and permanent supportive housing activities that meet the housing needs of homeless families and individuals. Grants funds are provided through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF). Nonprofit organizations, local governments, public housing authorities and consortia of any eligible applicants may apply.

The Ohio Balance of State Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a non-duplicative computerized data collection system designed to track Ohioans who are receiving homeless prevention assistance or are experiencing homelessness. ODOD award recipients serving homeless persons or helping to prevent homelessness accurately track client intake, produce system-wide reports, and better provide homeless persons with needed services. The project is funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF) dollars.

The Homelessness Crisis Response Program (HCRP) prevents homelessness for low- and moderate-income individuals and families, provides for emergency shelter operations, and to rapidly move persons from emergency shelter into permanent housing. The program is funded through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF). Grant funds are awarded to state-appointed service providers on a regional basis.

The Housing Assistance Grant Program (HAGP) promotes affordable housing opportunities and improves housing conditions through emergency home repair and limited down payment assistance for low- and moderate-income citizens. Grant funds are provided through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF). Eligible applicants include private, nonprofit organizations incorporated with Ohio's Secretary of State and granted 501.c.3 status by the Internal Revenue Service.

The Housing Development Assistance Program (HDAP) provides financing for low- and moderate-income citizens for eligible housing developments to expand the supply of decent, safe, affordable housing using HOME funds. The The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) administers the HDAP, which is funded through the federal HOME Program and Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF).

The Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) funds organizations to assist with meeting the housing and supportive service needs of low- and moderate-income persons with AIDS or HIV-related diseases. Nonprofit organizations and units of local government are eligible to apply for HOPWA grant funds.

The Loan Loss Reserve Program offers credit enhancement to eligible Ohio Port Authorities as they originate loans for projects that make businesses’ and nonprofits’ facilities more energy efficient.  The Ohio Development Services Agency is partnering with eight Ohio port authorities for this program.

The Local Government Efficiency Program provides grants of up to $100,000 to political subdivisions, or scholarships to employees of political subdivisions, for training in and implementation of process efficiency programs such as Lean, Kaizen and Six Sigma.

The Local Government Innovation Program offers communities financial assistance to create more efficient and effective service delivery within their area. Projects are expected to facilitate improved business environments and promote community attraction with their plan for efficiency, collaboration, or shared services. Both loan and grant funds are available through the program on a quarterly basis. Communities will be able to save money and provide more effective services to their constituents with assistance from this program.

The Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program provides money that can be used for vehicles, equipment, facilities or systems for police, fire or emergency medical services needed to enhance public safety.

Community Development Corporation (CDC) Microenterprise Program provides funds on a competitive basis to eligible Community Development Corporations to assist with the development of local microenterprise businesses. Microenterprises are commonly defined as for-profit entities with fewer than five employees, one of whom owns the business.

The New Horizons Fair Housing Assistance Program provides funds to local governments, or consortia of local governments, to affirmatively further fair housing in addition to those activities funded through the standard fair housing program. Affirmative fair housing strategies are to be based on locally assessed needs and commitments, as well as to further the state’s fair housing goal. Direct Community Development Program Formula Allocation cities and counties are eligible to apply for the New Horizons Fair Housing Assistance Program.

The Ohio Brownfield Fund is a collection of funding sources that can be used to help plan, assess, and remediate brownfields throughout the state. A brownfield is a piece of property whose redevelopment is complicated by the potential presence of environmental contaminants such as hazardous substances, asbestos, lead-based paint, and petroleum. Brownfield redevelopment allows a community to reclaim and improve its lands, making property viable for new development.

The Ohio Coal Research and Development Program is administered by the Ohio Coal Development Office (OCDO) and provides funding for (i) research and development at educational and scientific institutions, and for (ii) demonstration projects. The program seeks projects that result in the maximum conversion or use of Ohio coal as a fuel or chemical feedstock in a cost-effective and environmentally acceptable manner. The aggregate principal amount of money borrowed, bonds and other obligations issued by the state for this program is not to exceed one hundred million dollars. Eligible applicants includes: municipal, rural, investor-owned utilities, non-profit, and for-profit entities doing business in Ohio or an education or scientific institution located in Ohio.

The Community Reinvestment Areas program provides local real property tax incentives for residents and business that invest in designated areas of Ohio. The designated areas are created and administered by the municipality or county in which it is located, and the area must be formally confirmed by the director of Development Services Agency. Real property investors meeting the local criteria thresholds must apply to the municipality or county for the real property tax exemption.

The Ohio Enterprise Zone Program provides real property tax incentives for businesses that expand or locate in Ohio (and may provide personal property tax incentives for those qualifying businesses that continue to pay personal property tax). Municipalities or counties must apply to the director of Development Services Agency to have a zone certified in their jurisdiction. To secure tax incentives for qualified new real and/or personal property investment, non-retail business must apply to the local community prior to making the investment.

Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides a 25 percent tax credit for the rehabilitation expenses to owners and lessees of historically significant buildings. A building is eligible if it is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places; contributes to a National Register Historic District, National Park Service Certified Historic District, or Certified Local Government historic district; or is listed as a local landmark by a Certified Local Government. The program is competitive and receives applications bi-annually in March and September.

The Ohio New Markets Tax Credit Program helps to finance business investments in low-income communities by providing investors with state tax credits in exchange for delivering below-market-rate investment options to Ohio businesses. Investors receive a 39% tax credit spread over seven years if they make an investment in a qualified low-income community business. Community Development Entities (CDEs) apply to the program for allocation authority, and work with investors to make qualified low-income community investments. The attractiveness of the tax credit helps to spark revitalization in communities of all types and sizes.

The Qualified Energy Project Tax Exemption promotes the deployment of alternative energy sources in Ohio by exempting the public utility tangible personal property tax and the real property tax for "energy facilities" in favor of an affordable, fixed annual payment in lieu of taxes for the life of the facility. Owners of large "energy facilities" must repair roadways damaged in the construction of the facility, train and equip emergency personnel, develop relationships with members of the university system of Ohio to promote education in alternative energy, and remain in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

The Reduction in Household Energy Burden program will provide funding to non-profits, for-profit corporations or local governments to develop programs that reduce energy use for Ohioans eligible for the Energy Assistance Programs.

Roadwork Development (629) funds are available for public roadway improvements, including engineering and design costs. Funds are available for projects primarily involving manufacturing, research and development, high technology, corporate headquarters, and distribution activity. Projects must typically create or retain jobs. Grants are usually provided to a local jurisdiction and require local participation.

The Ohio Development Services Agency is the recipient of federal funding through the annual State Energy Program(SEP) , which is formula-based funding provided by the United States Department of Energy. Each state is allocated grant funding to address energy priorities such as adopting emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) provides funding for operations (and limited funding for services) in permanent supportive housing and facility-based transitional housing programs for low- and moderate-income citizens. Qualified individual nonprofit agencies are eligible to apply for grant funding provided through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF).

CDBG Training provides administrators necessary skills to execute their CDBG programs, including the administration process, grant requirements and procedures, financial management, etc.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is an economic development mechanism available to local governments in Ohio to finance public infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation.  A TIF works by locking in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation was approved.  Payments derived from the increased assessed value of any improvement to real property beyond that amount are directed towards a separate fund to finance the construction of public infrastructure defined within the TIF legislation.