SS4A: What's New in 2023?
The fiscal year (FY) 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program is very similar to the FY 2022 SS4A NOFO.
The most notable changes focus on creating more opportunities for supplemental planning and demonstration projects and standardizing some of the data collection. The SS4A program is also using a new application submission system, Valid Eval, to make the application process easier and ensure that applicants submit all required application materials.
The following sections highlight where each change of the NOFO can be located.
- The NOFO will be posted on Grants.gov, but the application process will now be through Valid Eval. This will provide a clearer and more standardized structure for the application materials.
- Planning and Demonstration Application Link: https://usg.valideval.com/teams/usdot_ss4a_2023_planning/signup
- Implementation Application Link: https://usg.valideval.com/teams/usdot_ss4a_2023_implementation/signup
- “Planning and Demonstration” grants replaced “Action Plan” grants from FY 2022 to better reflect eligible activities that applicants can include in their applications.
- Updated the definition of an underserved community to be consistent with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and DOT definitions of a disadvantaged community designation, which includes:
- Any Tribal land;
- Any territory or possession of the United States; or
- U.S. Census tracts identified in one of the following tools (applicants may select only one option to identify underserved communities):
- The interim USDOT Equitable Transportation Community Explorer (ETCE);
- Any subsequent iterations of the ETCE released during the NOFO period; or
- The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool to identify disadvantaged communities.
- DOT expects two announcements for grant recipients: October 2023 for an initial set of Planning and Demonstration Grant awards, and December 2023 for Implementation Grants and any remaining Planning and Demonstration Grants.
Planning and Demonstration
- Clarified eligible activities, with a new focus area on “demonstration activities” (Sections A and C).
- Applicants are encouraged to include supplemental planning and demonstration activities along with their application to create or revise an existing Comprehensive Safety Action Plan.
- The expected minimum and maximum award ranges have been updated to $100,000 to $10 million (Section B.3).
- Flexibility for a longer grant period of performance under certain circumstances (Section B.4).
- Applicants seeking funding for supplemental planning and demonstration activities no longer have to have a completed Comprehensive Safety Action Plan prior to submitting an application if they are applying for both creating or revising a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan and supplemental planning and demonstration activities (Section C).
- Applicant must be in process of completing a conforming Comprehensive Safety Action Plan to apply for only supplemental planning or demonstration activities (Section C.3).
- Revised selection criteria for the “Additional Safety Considerations” narrative, which is now expected to be 1-2 pages (Section E).
- The expected minimum and maximum award ranges have been updated to $2.5 million to $25 million (Section B.3).
- A fifth selection criterion, #5 “Supplemental Planning and Demonstration Activities” was added for Implementation Grant applications that include supplemental planning and demonstration activities.
- Implementation Grant applicants are encouraged to include supplemental planning and demonstration projects into their applications.
- The fifth selection criterion does not inform the overall application rating; it impacts only the rating for the supplemental planning and demonstration activities (Section E).
- DOT expects to make partial awards for just supplemental planning and demonstration activities in instances where Implementation Grant applicants were unsuccessful in receiving a full award.
- The list of additional considerations for award selection in Section E was expanded. It now includes:
- Project readiness (included in FY 2022)
- Percentage of funds to underserved communities (included in FY 2022)
- Projects located in rural areas (new in FY 2023)
- Selections that support diversity amongst the award recipients (new in FY 2023)
- Federal funding requests under $10 million (new in FY 2023)
Please refer to the NOFO for more information on eligible activities and projects.
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