USDA invests $24.1M in Western Pacific for FY’15


HILO, Hawaii—USDA Rural Development invested more than $24.1 million in various projects throughout the Western Pacific in Fiscal Year 2015. The programs targeted first-time home owners, home repair and rehabilitation, community facilities, business assistance and investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“Our Rural Development programs showcase the dedication to our rural communities by touching so many aspects of everyday life for rural residents—from housing to business to facilities,” said Chris Kanazawa, USDA Rural Development State Director for Hawaii and the Western Pacific. “Our local boots on the ground are imbedded in their communities and are able to help and provide assistance throughout the region. It’s dedicated people like our Western Pacific area directors, Joseph Diego and Gary Bloom, and their staffs that work to promote USDA programs and ensure our rural communities know about available opportunities and applicable resources.

“In 2015, we were able to assist 89 families realize their dreams of becoming first-time homeowners through the more than $16.6 million in direct and guaranteed funds for housing that was approved,” said Kanazawa. “An additional 118 families received $878,345 in low-interest loans and grants for home repairs to make their homes safe, decent and sanitary.”

RD’s 2015 Western Pacific investment includes more than $18.6 million in housing programs, $3.1 million in business programs and $2.3 million in community programs. Since the start of the Obama Administration in 2009, nearly $458 million has been invested in the region. The Western Pacific region encompasses Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

These investments were made available through RD’s single family housing direct and guaranteed loan programs; the home repair and rehabilitation loan and grant program; Community Programs; the Business & Industry Guaranteed loan program; the Rural Energy for America Program; and other grant programs including the Rural Business Development Grant; Value-Added Producer Grant; and the High Energy Cost Grant.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way—strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

Press Release
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