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USDA Invests $312,810 to Improve Equitable Access to Jobs, Business Opportunities and Housing for Iowans in Rural Areas

Name
Cecilia Lynch
City
Washington, DC
Release Date
Nov 19, 2021

Iowa Investments Part of $86 Million National Program Funding Announcement

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2021 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday announced the Department is investing $86 million to improve equitable access to jobs, business opportunities, education, housing and health care for people who live and work in rural areas. The investments are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensure that people living in rural communities have equitable access to the infrastructure and opportunities often taken for granted by people living in urban and suburban areas.

“Regardless of where they live, their race, ethnicity or gender, or the size of the town in which they live, all people must have access to decent housing, clean water and good job opportunities,” Vilsack said. “This is foundational to a healthy society and stable communities. Today’s announcements build on the historic investments made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law by President Biden to ensure equity during a time when people living in underserved places are suffering the most. These investments will go a long way toward helping America ‘Build Back Better’ toward a just and more equitable society.”

Recipients of USDA investments in Iowa will receive $312,810 in grant funding.

“Our programs at USDA Rural Development Iowa are creating more equitable opportunities for the people we serve,” said Darin Leach, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director in Iowa. “To promote an equitable future for all Iowans, we must invest in projects to make fairness a cornerstone of rural life in this state.”

 The three Iowa investments are:

  • The East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) received a $150,000 grant to expand training and resources to assist rural communities with capacity building and job creation. ECIA empowers eastern Iowa communities and enhances the quality of life for rural Iowans living in Cedar, Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson Counties. Services and programs provided by ECIA focus on community development, economic development, housing assistance, special programs, transit and transportation planning.
  • Region XII received a $81,405 grant from the Housing Preservation Grant program. The investment will be used to provide grants to very low-income homeowners living in the rural areas of Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, and Sac Counties.  Funds will be used to eliminate health and safety hazards and to make needed repairs to improve living conditions in owner-occupied homes.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Marion County received a $81,405 grant from the Housing Preservation Grant program. The funding will be used to make critical home repairs possible for very low-income residents of Marion County. These home repairs will consist of electrical and plumbing upgrades, overcrowding, and health and safety issues.

Background:
Vilsack highlighted 218 investments that USDA is making in six programs specifically designed to help people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Tribal College Initiative Grants, Rural Community Development Initiative Grants, Housing Preservation Grants, Delta Health Care Grants, Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grants and Water and Waste Disposal Grants.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

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. USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that will support key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help rural America build back better and stronger. Key priorities include combatting the COVID-19 pandemic; addressing the impacts of climate change; and advancing equity in rural America. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points.

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, 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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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.