USDA Invests $185 Million to Improve Rural Community Facilities and Essential Services in 32 States
Funding includes the opening of a new school building in Silver City, N.M.
WASHINGTON, – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson today announced that USDA is investing $185 million to equip, rebuild, and modernize essential services in rural areas of 32 states. The investments will benefit 3 million rural residents.
“The Biden-Harris Administration has made investing in infrastructure improvements a priority,” Maxson said. “These loans and grants will help rural communities invest in facilities and services that are vital to all communities, such as schools, libraries, hospitals and health clinics. They also will help rural communities continue to beat the COVID-19 pandemic as America builds back better and stronger.”
USDA is investing in 233 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. Of these, 74 awards, totaling $4 million, will help communities with their long-term recovery efforts following natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.
The Department is making investments in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
“The strength of the Community Facilities program is where we help finance projects that are essential in the rural communities of New Mexico,” said Acting State Director Eric Vigil.
Vigil added, “This announcement highlights how our agency combined our funds with other partners to help move and set up a school building for El Grito, Inc. Head Start Program. By doing so we’ve increased the capacity of this school to provide more educational opportunities to the youngest of students in Grant County.”
Overview of El Grito Inc. Head Start Project:
Rural Development provided a $11,980 Community Facilities (CF) Grant and a $28,970.00 Community Facility Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) grant to bring a donated portable school building from the Silver Consolidated School District into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). This grant along with a $14,812.00 Head Start Grant, a $21,238.00 Head Start Roll Over Grant, and a $40,000.00 COVID Cares Act Grant will be used to make the portable building ADA compliant. The school building will also meet the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department licensing requirements.
The building will give the school two additional classrooms and will accommodate 32 children and four teachers. The El Grito Head Start program mostly serves three and four-year-old children from low-income families.
The new school rooms will be ready for use in August for the 2021-2022 school year.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
To learn more about Community Facilities Program funding opportunities, contact a USDA Rural Development state office. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB) for a detailed overview of the application process.
USDA 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.
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.