Harrisburg, PA, Nov 01, 2010 -- UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Dawn Knepp, Public Affairs Specialist, (717) 237-2286
USDA Rural Development Invests Over $956 Million
Across Rural Pennsylvania in FY 2010
Harrisburg –Oct 26, 2010 – USDA Pennsylvania Rural Development State Director Tom Williams announced the investment of more than $956 million in fiscal year 2010 to rural communities, residents and organizations across the state. “I expect the results of Rural Development’s investment will impact rural Pennsylvania for years to come. We’ll see the results in the form of good jobs, affordable housing, new or improved community buildings and public safety equipment, modernized hospitals, critical infrastructure, and broadband connectivity,” said Williams.
Rural Development’s loan, grant, and guaranteed loan programs along with private investments from lenders, non-profit organizations, state and local agencies, and other partner organizations will help ensure that Pennsylvania’s rural areas are creating wealth, self-sustaining, repopulating and thriving economically. Our objective is to turn rural areas into employment zones and centers for innovation.
Some of RD’s highlights include $510 million in housing assistance for more than 4,000 rural homeowners statewide to purchase new homes or refinance or repair existing homes. A portion of the housing investment provides rental assistance to senior citizens and low-income families.
The business program’s $89.6 million investment assisted business development in rural areas to create and save jobs as well as energy investments that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels, conserve natural resources and help build a sustained renewable energy industry in rural America. Over $90 million in community facilities loans and $2.1 million in grants provided rural communities with essential community services such as, hospitals, libraries, equipment or vehicle purchases and fire station construction or renovations.
Developing, improving, and repairing water and sewer systems is critical to a healthy environment. Forty communities received more than $209 million in water and sewer loans and/or grants for this purpose.
Through its Rural Development mission area, USDA administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,000 employees located in the nation's capital and over 470 state and local offices. 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. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees and will continue to build on these rural economic development efforts. For more information on programs offered by USDA Rural Development, contact the Pennsylvania State Office at (717) 237-2299 or visit its website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/pa.