USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce W. Lammers today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing almost $12 million in 41 community facilities projects that will benefit 214,000 Americans (PDF, 134 KB) in rural communities in 17 states.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to bring essential facilities and services to rural communities,” Lammers said. “Investments in our rural areas provide a foundation for growth and prosperity that strengthens the Nation’s overall economy.”
USDA is making the investments and has additional funding available through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for application and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB), a detailed overview of the application process.
The 41 projects that USDA announced today are in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. For example:
- The Meigs Youth Center in Decatur, Tenn., will use a $388,400 loan and a $111,600 grant to purchase a building for use as a Boys and Girls Club. The Center provides operational facilities, classrooms, playgrounds and activities that inspire and enable people to reach their full potential. The Boys and Girls Club will serve up to 200 children with the potential to expand.
- In Tallahassee, Fla., America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend Inc. will use a $1.1 million loan to purchase the facility that the organization currently leases. America’s Second Harvest provides nutritious food and other items for low-income and unemployed residents in 17 Florida counties. More than 4,000 people are expected to benefit from USDA’s funding.
- In Hindman, Ky., the Appalachian Artisan Center will use a $205,900 loan and a $57,520 grant to build a hospitality center atop the Cody Building. The center will complement the Master Artist in Residence program, which offers apprenticeships for people in recovery programs.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. Congress appropriated $2.8 billion for Community Facilities direct loans and grants in fiscal year 2019.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).