This year, the U.S. House of Representatives implemented a new effort as part of its annual appropriations process: Community Project Funding. The Community Project Funding process was created to ensure that Members of Congress, in concert with the communities they represent, may submit direct applications for federal funding to support locally planned projects as part of the yearly appropriations process. To be eligible, projects must be sponsored by local or state government entities or nonprofit organizations and must be projects that would otherwise meet the qualifications to apply for federal grant funding. The purpose of Community Project Funding is to ensure direct, local engagement as part of the federal appropriations process. In line with this goal, funding applications must demonstrate significant local support for the projects.
Each congressional office may submit up to ten Community Project Funding requests, but there is no guarantee of how many, if any, of the projects will be approved and funded.
There are several important restrictions and transparency requirements for Community Project Funding requests. They include:
- Only projects requested by state and local government entities or nonprofit organizations are eligible.
- Projects must have demonstrated community support.
- Every Community Project Funding request made by a congressional office must be publicly available on the Member’s website.
- Members of Congress cannot have a financial interest in the proposed project.
Our office received project submissions for Community Project Funding from county and town governments and nonprofit organizations across Central Virginia. As we are limited to ten total Community Project Funding requests, we chose to submit one request from each of the ten counties in Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District. Our office selected the following ten projects for submission based on their community impact, evidence of broad community support, and how well their requests matched the eligibility requirements and funding parameters of the applicable appropriations account.