Chris Kanazawa, USDA Rural Development State Director for Hawaii, Western Pacific, and American Samoa announced today over $350,000 was invested across the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in Fiscal Year 2013. Funds were targeted for home repair and rehabilitation and community facilities and related equipment. Each of the FSM's four states, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap received funds.
Rural Development’s investments included $306,664 in low interest fixed-rate loans and grants that helped 31 very low-income homeowners make repairs to their homes. Repairs included removing health and safety hazards to dilapidated homes, as well as providing accessibility for those with physical disabilities. These investments were made available through Rural Development's Single Family Housing Renovation (Section 504) Loan and Grant Programs.
An additional $45,937 in assistance was provided for community projects that increased public safety, enhance environmental quality, and safeguard public health. These investments were made available through Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program.
"Families in small, rural communities deserve access to decent, livable housing, a safe and clean living environment, and basic health services. I am extremely pleased that through the efforts of our local Rural Development staff, we were able to improve the quality of life for many families in all four FSM states," said Kanazawa. "As a priority of President Obama and Secretary Vilsack, Rural Development strives to provide the needed assistance to raise the standard of living for lower income families. This will ultimately result in stronger communities across the FSM."
"In FY 2014, Rural Development continues its mission in the FSM of improving the improving the standard of living for Micronesia’s residents by elevating the quality of life for local homeowners and communities while creating economic opportunities for local businesses as a multiplier effect of our projects," remarked Gary Bloom, USDA Rural Development Area Director for FSM.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
President Obama’s plan for the rural areas of America and our Freely Associated "Partners in Progress" has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America and Pacific Islands to continue leading the way – strengthening our economies, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.