WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced today that USDA is investing $102 million to expand access to housing and water infrastructure for underserved rural people who live and work in 47 states and American Samoa. The 263 projects in which USDA is investing will create economic opportunities and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in rural America.
The investments are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensure that people living in rural America have equitable access to the infrastructure and economic opportunities they deserve.
“USDA invests in rural America because we know a strong community is rooted in its people,” Torres Small said. “Thanks to the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA can help invest in opportunity and prosperity for all people, regardless of background or financial status, who make up the character and personality of our great country’s rural lands.”
“These projects reflect the mission of Rural Development,” said State Director Dr. Trina N. George. “When making investments, we try to focus on projects that help improve equitable access to services in rural communities, creating opportunities and improving the lives of residents. When rural communities thrive, all of America thrives.”
Torres Small highlighted investments that USDA is making in 11 programs specifically designed to help people and communities in underserved rural areas. These programs are Water and Waste Disposal Grants to Alleviate Health Risks on Tribal Lands and Colonias, Appalachian Regional Commission Grants, Delta Health Care Grants, Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grants, Housing Preservation Grants, Rural Community Development Initiative Grants, Tribal College Initiative Grants, Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants, Rural and Native Alaskan Village Grants, Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants and Community Facilities Disaster Grant Program.
The funding will benefit hundreds of thousands of people in 47 states and American Samoa. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development addresses economic development, infrastructure and social service needs for rural residents and communities.
In Mississippi for example:
- The Tri County Agricultural Cooperative will use a $175,000 Rural Development investment to conduct educational training programs, establish demonstration sites, conduct farm field-days and conferences, and provided one-on-one assistance. The areas served include Tallahatchie, Yalobusha, Panola, Tate, Quitman, and Grenada counties.
- The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will use a $5,000,000 Rural Development investment to construct and install: a 2,500 gpm capacity Pressure Filter Water Treatment Plant with two treatment trains to facilitate maintenance and continuous operation, flow meters on Pearl River 2 and 3 Wells, two new 1,400 gallons per minute wells with flow meters, and a 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank which will facilitate supply to MCBI's largest user, Geyser Falls Water Park, and pressure maintenance throughout the system in the event of line breaks. Pearl River 2 and 3 Wells, along with the new wells, will pump to the new plant, replacing the two plants at Pearl River 1 and Chahta Wells.
- Home Again Inc. will use $184,600 Rural Development investment to assist 23 qualified low and very-low-income homeowners make needed repairs or improvements to their existing homes throughout Leflore and Sunflower County. Other funding sources are $81,150 in private grant and $21,000 in private donations.
The awards announced today are being made in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and American Samoa.
These investments are in addition to the recent expansion of the Rural Partners Network (RPN), which is central to President Biden’s commitment to ensure all rural people can benefit from federal resources. Led by USDA with support from more than 20 federal agencies and commissions, RPN is part of an all-of-government strategy to champion rural people and places, including Native American communities.
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.
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