U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Acting State Director for Rural Development Brian Murray today announced the Department is investing more than $1 million in grant funding across several rural New York communities. This is part of a nationwide announcement where USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack also announced more than $86 million to improve equitable access to jobs, business opportunities, education, health care and housing for those 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 good jobs, decent housing, clean water and good job opportunities,” Murray 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. The investments I am announcing today will go a long way toward helping America ‘Build Back Better’ toward a just and more equitable society.”
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 Group Grants and Water and Waste Disposal Grants.
The funding will help more than 425,000 people in 46 states, Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific. They reflect the many ways USDA Rural Development helps rural residents, businesses and communities address economic development, infrastructure and social service needs. They will help low-income people make health and safety repairs to their homes. They will help build and improve water and wastewater infrastructure for people living in U.S. communities along the Mexico border. They will help rural business owners in the Mississippi Delta get access to capital and business development assistance. They also will help colleges that serve Tribal populations upgrade campus buildings and services.
Projects in New York include:
Rural Community Development Initiative
- Rebuilding Together Inc. This Rural Development investment of $112,701 in grant funding will be used to develop the capacity of ten rural non-profit community-based housing organizations across the country. This project will support recipients in eight states as well as the District of Columbia. These recipients will undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. Rebuilding Together provides technical assistance, training, and financial assistance to strengthen the recipients' organizational capacity as they work in their local communities.
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) This Rural Development investment of $250,000 in grant funding will be used to build the capacity of 14 rural community development corporations (CDCs) in 12 states across the United States. Through LISC's national rural program, Recipient CDCs will receive technical assistance, training and financial assistance, which will enable them to address new conditions in the wake of Covid-19, respond to substance use crises, as well as act on emerging housing, community and economic development opportunities.
- Habitat for Humanity of New York This Rural Development investment of $180,000 in grant funding will be used by Habitat for Humanity to build the capacity of 12 rural recipients by providing a Training and Technical Assistance Program focused on creating training and growth plans; offering consultation services; providing statewide networking and training events; and developing web-based learning solutions.
- Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) This Rural Development Investment of $54,553 in grant funding will be used by Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) to provide a training program to area recipient organizations to deepen their understanding of the business transition process and better equip them to help business owners in their region that are facing succession due to retirement or other life changes.
Housing Preservation Grants
- Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation This Rural Development investment of $167,244 in grant funding will assist approximately 26 low-income families with home repairs to address health and safety, accessibility, and rehabilitation to improve the quality of life for families in Allegany, Cayuga, Yates, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne & Ontario.
- Rebuilding Together Saratoga County This Rural Development investment of $167,244 in grant funding will assist approximately 25 low-income families with home repairs to address health and safety, accessibility, and rehabilitation to improve the quality of life for families in Saratoga County.
Appalachian Regional Commission
- The City of Binghamton, NY This Rural Development investment of $150,000 in grant funding will be used to improve walkways and access drives to the Susquehanna and Chenango riverfronts in the city of Binghamton, New York. This will include docks, launches, restroom facilities, storage structures, fountains, signage and a boathouse for the rental of recreational equipment.
Socially Disadvantaged Group Grants
- Cooperative Development Institute, Inc. This Rural Development investment of $174,883 will be used to support the implementation and evaluation of cooperative development training and technical assistance in Maine, Massachusetts and New York, for socially-disadvantaged groups such as New American, Black, Indigenous and people of color groups. Cooperative Development Institute's (CDI) commitment to prioritizing their work with these groups aims to build and retain equity and empowerment for them and the next generation, passing along greater success to wealth through ownership and entrepreneurship in rural areas.
The 218 awards Secretary Vilsack announced today are being made in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific.
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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
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, 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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.