U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for New York Brian Murray announced they agency is investing $949,155 across five projects to create economic opportunities, support rural communities and rehabilitate homes for underserved rural New Yorkers. This is part of a national announcement where 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,” Murray said. “Thanks to the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA can help invest in opportunity and prosperity for rural New Yorkers, regardless of background or financial status, who make up the character and personality of our great country’s rural lands.”
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.
Projects in New York include:
- Rebuilding Together Saratoga County This Rural Development investment of $237,655 in grant funding will be used to support Rebuilding Together Saratoga County's housing rehabilitation efforts throughout the rural areas of Saratoga and Washington counties in fiscal year 2023. They will leverage this funding with an additional $120,000 of New York state funds to repair, improve and make homes accessible for at least 13 low-income homeowners in need. The only other non-profit that provides repairs for low-income homeowners in Washington County is no longer providing services, so Rebuilding Together Saratoga County will be expanding its service territory to assist the homeowners in rural areas.
- Village of Celoron This Rural Development investment of $75,000 in grant funding will be used to purchase a 2023 International HV-607 SBA garbage truck for the village of Celoron, located in Chautauqua County, New York. The new garbage truck will help ensure that the village has adequate equipment to provide the residents with the service of picking up their garbage.
- Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc. This Rural Development investment of $236,500 in grant funding will be used to support Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation's rehabilitation efforts throughout the rural areas of Allegany, Cayuga, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates counties. They will leverage this award with matching of $236,500 from New York state and in house funds to repair, improve, and make homes handicapped accessible to an estimated 26 low-income homeowners in critical need.
- Local Initiatives Support Corp. This Rural Development investment of $250,000 in grant funding will be used by The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to build the capacity of 18 rural Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in 15 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, and act on emerging housing, community and economic development opportunities.
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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