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200 USDA-Funded Projects Create Economic Opportunity in Underserved Rural Communities

Miguel Ramirez
San Juan
Release Date

WINTERHAVEN, Calif., Dec. 11, 2023 – USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad today announced more than 200 projects to improve infrastructure, housing and economic conditions for underserved rural communities. These projects are funded by an $81 million investment from USDA. Maximiliano J. Trujillo -Ortega, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico indicated that eight of these projects are in Puerto Rico.

The investments are part of President Biden’s commitment to advance equity for all, including those who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are making record investments in rural America to ensure everyone in this country has a path to success,” Deputy Under Secretary Ahmad said. “The investments we’re making today will have lasting economic and social benefits that will allow current and future generations to make a good life right at home in their rural communities.”

Trujillo-Ortega indicated that eight Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) were awarded to three elderly housing projects, three municipalities and two to Non-Profit Organization for a total amount $617,000. They have two years to use the funds after they receive them.

For example:

  • Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico, Inc., is receiving $50,000 HPG grant to repair three rural houses of elderly people.
  • Habitat for Humanity is receiving a $100,000 HPG grant to repair 12 rural houses.
  • Juana Diaz Elderly Housing in the municipality of Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico is receiving a $51,500 HPG grant to repair the roof of this Rental Property that was damage by Hurricane Fiona.
  • Ovidio Lamoso Elderly Housing in the municipality of Ciales, Puerto Rico is receiving a HPG grant of $62,500 to repair the elevator of this rental property that was damage by Hurricane Fiona.
  • Villalba Elderly Housing in the municipality of Villalba, Puerto Rico is receiving a HPG grant of $51,500 to repair the elevator of this rental property that was damage by Hurricane Fiona.
  • Municipality of Arroyo in Puerto Rico is receiving a $100,000 HPG grant to repair 20 rural houses.
  • Municipality of Yabucoa in Puerto Rico is receiving a $50,000 HPG grant to repair 11 rural houses.
  • Municipality of Toa Alta in Puerto Rico is receiving a $50,000 HPG grant to repair 10 rural houses.


New Web Resources for Rural Communities

USDA Rural Development today also unveiled two new web resources that underscore the agency’s mission to ensure all people have equitable access to federal programs.

A new history webpage traces USDA Rural Development’s evolution from the Great Depression and New Deal to the present, highlighting the many ways the agency supports efforts to create prosperity in rural communities.

One of the agency’s more recent initiatives, the Rural Partners Network (RPN), has brought together a coalition of 24 federal agencies that offer programs and funding designed specifically for rural communities.

A new feature on Rural.gov makes it easier to find these federal resources in one place. The Find Programs and Opportunities tool includes hundreds of millions of dollars in financing and technical assistance opportunities that are easy to search, filter and find.

The information will help people in rural areas access funding for a variety of business, health care, housing, community and economic development needs.

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, 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.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.  To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.

You can follow us at our Twitter Account @RD_PuertoRico or visiting our website: www.rd.usda.gov/pr



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