WILLARD, Mo.—The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $222 million to build and improve critical community facilities in 44 states, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico to benefit nearly 2.5 million people in rural communities.
In announcing the grant funding last Friday, USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small said this community infrastructure funding will It also includes $132 million to support health care, food security, and emergency response services for more than 850,000 rural residents in 37 states.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is delivering on its promise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild our economy,” Torres Small said. “Rural Americans need emergency response, hospitals and medical facilities, and USDA’s loans and grants invest in critical infrastructure to make that possible. USDA Rural Development puts rural people at the forefront of investment and opportunity to help us all build back better, stronger, and more resilient.”
USDA is investing in 536 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The assistance will fund essential community services that will help keep rural America resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics; and combat food insecurity.
The investments announced Friday will support community infrastructure projects in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities 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. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program.
These investments complement the recently announced funding availability under USDA’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program, which also is being administered through the Community Facilities program. Through this program, USDA is making up to $500 million available through the American Rescue Plan to help rural health care facilities, tribes and communities expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, health care services and nutrition assistance.
Under the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program, Recovery Grant applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are expended. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/erhc.
Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants for a detailed overview of the application process.
Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. (PR)