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$250k Awarded to support Denison, Port Lavaca, and Hidalgo Counties as USDA Partners to Create Thriving, Livable Communities to Attract People and Jobs to Rural Areas and Tribal Nations

Meredith Mingledorff
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced this week that USDA is awarding $4 million in cooperative agreements to 17 organizations under the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge. Placemaking is a collaborative planning and technical assistance process that helps leaders from rural communities create quality places where people will want to live, work, visit, and learn.

The assistance will help the organizations support people who have been unserved or live in socially vulnerable communities, tribal communities, and rural areas.

The agreements announced today also will support people living in five communities participating in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Rural Partners Network. The network is a whole-of-government effort led by USDA to transform the way federal agencies partner with rural places to create economic opportunity in rural America.

The organizations will provide technical assistance to help people apply for and get access to government resources for projects to spur economic growth and attract jobs.

The organizations will work directly with people in rural communities to develop plans that will ensure people have access to high-speed internet in their homes, are able to live in affordable housing, have access to safe and reliable transportation to go to school and work, and more. This assistance will support the communities for up to two years. 

For example in Texas, Building Community Workshop was awarded $249,980. This Rural Development investment will be used to develop a plan that will address housing issues in Denison, Port Lavaca, and Hidalgo counties in Texas. The expected result of this project is to build capacity among three rural Texas counties that are facing challenges in bringing affordable housing to their communities. This project will help Building Community Workshop develop a housing guide for each county and provide support in understanding the needs, challenges, and opportunities as they relate to broadband access in each county.  The Come Dream Come Build organization is contributing $35,000 and the City of Port Lavaca, Texas is contributing $5,000 of in-kind support.

The investments will help people in rural and tribal communities in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. For more information about the program, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/initiatives/rural-placemaking-innovation-challenge to access a placemaking toolkit and additional resources, visit: Rural Placemaking | Rural Development (usda.gov). To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.

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