To start with, the federal affirmative action regulations found in Volume 41, Chapter 60 of the Code of Federal Regulations apply to federal contractors and subcontractors. These regulations do not apply to organizations receiving grants. Thus, a federally assisted project covered by the federal affirmative action regulations MUST involve a federal contract. In regard to loans, whether a federal loan would be considered a contract would depend on the nature of the loan and the relationship between the parties involved in the loan. If the loan is characterized in documents between the parties as a contract, then the loan is probably a contract. The distinction between federally funded and federally assisted projects primarily affects construction contractors and subcontractors. A project where a construction company has a contract or subcontract to do work on the Washington Monument is a federally funded (i.e. direct) project. A project where a construction company has a contract or subcontract involving work on a highway project in the State of Missouri, where the project is primarily controlled by the State of Missouri but the project has received federal funding, is a federally assisted project. Companies that are working on projects that are federal assisted projects are not subject to the provisions of the regulations regarding protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. (See 41 CFR 60-300.2(n) and 41 CFR 60-741.2(k).) In your example, it's not clear what the status of that project is. If your company has a contract with the Medical University, it is a state contractor. The HUD money may be a grant, which would likely make the federal affirmative regulations inapplicable to you and others working on this project, since the affirmative action regulations only apply to contracts. If the HUD money is a contract with the state, this project may be a federally assisted project that IS covered by the federal affirmative action regulations under Executive Order 11246. The provision you cite isn't entirely helpful in this regard. The language "Contractor is a federal contractor" doesn't mean that there is a federal contract involved in this particular project. The language you mention that indicates subcontractors must abide by EO 11246 simply means that WHEN APPLICABLE subcontractors must abide by EO 11246. Someone needs to read your contract with the Medical University very carefully here. There needs to be a determination as to whether (a) the HUD money is a grant or contract, and (b) subcontractors are actually receiving any kind of funds through a federal contract. Please note that Executive Order 11246 has requirements for direct federal contractors and for federal subcontractors, whether involved in construction projects or other types of projects (i.e. supply and service projects). The Executive Order also has requirements for CONSTRUCTION contractors and subcontractors involved in federally-assisted projects. (See 41 CFR 60-1.3.) Thus, a traditional supply and service contractor involved in a federally-assisted project appears to have no affirmative action obligations under any of the affirmative action laws. I realize this is somewhat convoluted, but, frankly, issues involving subcontracts and grants and state money mixed with federal money are often convoluted. You may need to have a discussion with an attorney who is well-versed in contract and affirmative action law to determine what your obligations are.