Funds Will Support Placemaking and Planning Assistance to Help the People of Rural America Build Back Better
Portland, Ore., Nov. 8, 2021 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is awarding $3 million in cooperative agreements to 13 organizations. These organizations will provide technical assistance to people living in rural and Tribal communities so they can apply for and access government resources for projects that will attract jobs and people, rebuild the economy and pave the way for rural America to build back better.
“Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA is investing in ways to help people in our nation’s smallest towns and communities access the government funding they need to create more jobs, deploy critical infrastructure, repair their homes or build more and better homes for the community, and so much more,” Torres Small said. “As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on people living in rural places, the Department is targeting resources and leveraging partnerships to enhance the quality of life in rural towns and Tribal areas who need it most. Community and economic development strategies like placemaking are critical to helping the people of rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before.”
The Department is making the awards under the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC). Placemaking is a collaborative planning and technical assistance process that helps leaders from rural communities create quality places where people will want to live, work, visit and learn.
Greater Applegate Community Development Corporation (known as A Greater Applegate) is receiving $246,310 to create a plan for Applegate Valley to make the community vibrant and livable. Funds will be used to build a community action team to implement projects in Jackson and Josephine counties in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California.
“Rural community resilience and growth is multifaceted,” said Jill Rees, Acting State Director for USDA Rural Development in Oregon. “This announcement with A Greater Applegate is an example of USDA investing in the future of rural Oregon through placemaking efforts. We look forward to the Applegate Valley benefitting from this investment and the resulting community-led actions for many years to come.”
Additional groups in Alabama, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Puerto Rico are also receiving RPIC investments that will help people in rural and Tribal communities.
The groups will work directly with people in rural communities to develop plans that will ensure people have access to high-speed internet in their homes, are able to live in affordable houses, have access to safe and reliable transportation to go to school and work, and more. This assistance will support the communities for up to two years.
USDA will announce in the coming months additional communities that will receive placemaking assistance. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/rpic.
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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.