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USDA Invests $1 Billion to Improve Community Infrastructure for People Living in Rural Towns Across the Country

Name
Philip Eggman
Phone
City
Olympia
Release Date
Jan 27, 2022

Funding Will Increase Access to Health Care, Education and Public Safety for the People Who Call Rural Communities Home in Washington State

Washington  – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh  announced that USDA is investing $1 billion to build and improve critical community facilities in 48 states, Puerto Rico and Guam (PDF, 449 KB). This infrastructure funding will increase access to health care, education and public safety while spurring community development and building sound infrastructure for people living in rural communities.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has made investing in infrastructure improvements a top priority,” Bronaugh said. “These loans and grants will help rural communities invest in facilities and services that are vital to all communities, such as health care facilities, schools, libraries, and first responder vehicles and equipment. When we invest in essential services in rural America, we build opportunity and prosperity for the people who call rural communities home.”

Bronaugh highlighted 731 projects that USDA is making in five programs that will fund essential community services to help rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before. These programs include Community Facilities Direct Loans and GrantsCommunity Facilities Loan GuaranteesCommunity Facilities Technical Assistance Training GrantsCommunity Facilities Disaster Grants, and Economic Impact Initiative Grants. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics and help fund other essential community facilities. 

Four projects totaling over $201 were funded in Washington State. For example: 

  • In Pierce County, USDA is providing a $7.8 million loan to help build a new assisted living facility for people living in the Lakebay area of the Key Peninsula. This project will be instrumental in providing care for elderly people in the community while allowing them to remain close to home near their family and friends.

  • In Benton County, USDA is providing a $57.5 million direct loan to Prosser Public Hospital to help build a new hospital that will benefit more than 46,000 people in the area. The new facility will offer 25 beds and clinical and support services. It will also include an educational center, a medical office building, a maintenance support building and a helipad.

  • In Grant County, USDA Rural Development will provide a $96.3 million direct loan and provide a $40.1 million loan guarantee to Grant County Public Hospital District #1 to help replace an aging hospital and health care facility in the community of Moses Lake. The new facility will offer more services and health care providers to help meet the health care needs of people living in this growing community, benefiting more than 20,000 people in rural Washington. 

“We are in a unique position to help rural communities and the people who live there to build infrastructure and be able to provide essential services for their families and businesses,” said Helen Price Johnson, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Washington State. “These investments support the local economy in rural communities, they create access to vital services, help them to prosper, and be safe places to live and work.”

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.

Interested parties should contact USDA Rural Development in Washington State for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB) for a detailed overview of the application process.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to 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.