Today, Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager highlighted the importance of investing in New Hampshire’s rural communities through USDA’s Community Facility Program; boosted the possibility of homeownership through reinforcing a new pilot program between USDA and ROC USA; and focused attention on the importance of energy efficiency achieved by two recipients of USDA grants through its Rural Energy for America Program.
During a ceremony at KidWorks Learning Center in Meredith, NH, Under Secretary Tonsager stated, “Since 2009, the USDA has invested $14 million in community facilities in New Hampshire. These investments, like the one we are making at KidWorks today, contribute to the long term health and vitality of our rural communities.”
The next stop on the tour was the Lake Regions Manufactured Home Park in Belmont. Together with Craig Welch, the Under Secretary noted that June is Homeownership Month. Through a new pilot project between ROC USA and USDA, homeownership just became a little easier. Homeowners, who already live or are considering living in approved manufactured home park cooperatives in NH, will be eligible for Direct and Guaranteed loans from USDA for new or new replacement units.
Finally, the Under Secretary visited two businesses – DS Cole Growers in Loudon and Pleasant View Gardens in Pembroke – to hear first-hand how the energy grants that they received through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) made a difference in the bottom line for both of these businesses.
At the conclusion of his tour, Under Secretary Tonsager, expressed his thanks to the communities, businesses and organizations in New Hampshire that partner with USDA. “This partnership,” he said, “is critical to achieving our mission of increasing economic opportunity and improving the quality of life for all who live in our rural communities.” In 2011, USDA invested $201.5 million in New Hampshire through its Rural Development programs.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $165 billion in affordable loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov for additional information about the agency's programs.