Columbia, S.C., Dec. 16, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development 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.
“South Carolina will be receiving $501,053 in this round of funding,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development South Carolina State Director Dr. Saundra Glover. “These projects will help advance equity in distressed rural communities by providing critical rehabilitation, repairs and accessibility modifications to many homes and will also assist socially-disadvantaged groups to expand economic opportunities for those who live and work in their rural communities.”
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,” Torres Small said. “Thanks to the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA can help invest in opportunity and prosperity for all people, 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 the citizens living and working in rural South Carolina. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development addresses economic development, infrastructure and social service needs for rural residents and communities.
For example, in South Carolina:
• Rural Urban Progressive Cooperative in Sumter County is receiving a $129,255 Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant to provide technical assistance to Cooperative members. Specifically, they will help members to cooperatively produce high quality specialty crops, follow food safety guidelines, and direct market their produce. It is expected that about fifty farmers will participate in this training.
• The SC Beef Marketing Cooperative is receiving a $85,000 Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant to provide technical assistance to cooperative members in Oconee County. It is expected that 26 members will participate in the training and more farmers will join the SC Beef Marketing Cooperative as a result of this assistance.
• Voorhees University located in Bamberg County, is receiving two grants totaling $93,798 to purchase seven heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems campus-wide. These improvements will allow Voorhees University to upgrade their HVAC systems in the living and learning communities, academic buildings, and student services buildings.
• Williamsburg Enterprise Community Commission is receiving a $65,000 Housing Preservation Grant to This Rural Development investment will be used to assist very-low-income homeowners with a variety of home repairs and improvement projects. It is expected that this project will benefit 16, owner-occupied, single-family homes located in Williamsburg County.
• Horry Co. W&S is receiving a $150,000 Housing Preservation Grant to This Rural Development investment will be used to repair 15 rural resident's homes. This project will enable these homes to receive critical rehabilitation, repairs and accessibility modifications.
Other 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 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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