MORGANTOWN, Dec. 16, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development West Virginia State Director Ryan Thorn announced today that USDA is investing $1.9 million to expand access to housing and water infrastructure for underserved rural West Virginians. The four projects in which USDA is investing will create economic opportunities and improve the lives of people in rural West Virginia.
“Access to clean and efficient water infrastructure, and affordable and safe housing, are foundational necessities of our rural communities,” said Thorn. “The investments announced today will ensure these communities have the resources and technical capacity to expand the availability of these crucial services and improve the quality of life for citizens.”
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. In West Virginia, these investments total $1,965,960 and include:
- The city of Ripley will receive $1,500,000 through an Appalachian Regional Commission grant to provide alternatives to transporting the sewage from Ripley and Evans to a singular location to be treated before discharging into one of the surrounding streams. Rural Development is administering this Appalachian Regional Commission investment.
- The Southern Appalachian Labor School will receive $107,980 to rehabilitate 10 homes for low and very low-income individuals in Fayette, Nicholas, Kanawha and Raleigh counties. This funding was provided through the USDA RD Housing Preservation Grant program.
- The Woodlands Development Group will receive $107,980 to repair and rehabilitate 10 rental homes for low and very low-income individuals in Randolph County. This funding was provided through the USDA RD Housing Preservation Grant program.
- The Randolph County Housing Authority will receive $250,000 to provide financial assistance and training to its recipients. The Housing Authority will provide financial assistance through funding for additional staff or AmeriCorps members, and they will provide technical assistance by funding consultant and technical services. The Housing Authority will provide training by sponsoring training workshops locally and paying for recipient staff to attend trainings. In addition, they will offer peer exchanges for recipient groups to share their experiences with one another. This will improve the capacity and ability of the recipients by helping them to carry out pre-development activities for real estate projects that meet pressing community needs for affordable housing, historic preservation, COVID recovery, and alternative energy.
You can read the national announcement made today related to these USDA Rural Development funding programs here.
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. Twenty West Virginia counties were included in the most recent expansion of RPN. 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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