Rural Development Under Secretary Torres Small Highlights Critical Investments in Water, Community Facilities and More
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., April 10, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced at a roundtable discussion that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $20 million to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in rural Arkansas. Sen. John Boozman was also present for the event which took place at the Milo J. Shult Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SAREC) in Fayetteville.
“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is committed to ensuring rural Americans have access to the essential services they need to thrive, and that they can get those resources in the communities they call home,” Torres Small said. “Thanks to leaders like Senator Boozman, projects like these will empower people with modern infrastructure, create good jobs and build a successful future for all.”
USDA Rural Development is making investments in Arkansas through six programs specifically designed to help people and communities in rural areas. These programs are Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program, Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program, Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, Community Facilities Emergency Rural Health Care, Business & Industry Loan Guarantees, and Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grants.
The funding will give people in remote areas access to modern water and wastewater systems, and essential community facilities and health care services. It will help rural Arkansans start businesses and allow small business owners to expand and grow. And it will help individuals and families construct and buy their own homes in rural Arkansas.
Some of the projects being funded are:
- 1st Choice Healthcare, will use a $5 million Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan to build a new clinic in place of the first one that opened in March 2000. The new clinic will help the organization meet the increasing demand for medical services in Pocahontas.
- The City of Mountainburg will use $7.4 million in Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants for a water system extension to serve approximately 350 users in North Central Crawford County who currently lack access to a potable water supply. Many area residents must haul water from a nearby source to obtain potable water.
- The Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council will use a $405,000 Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance grant to provide financing to a non- profit that will administer technical assistance for the Mutual Self-Help housing The nonprofit will assist in constructing 15 homes for low- and very-low-income families in rural Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian counties.
Under 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. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden- Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and 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.