News Release
Release No.STELPRD4014237
ContactKaren K. Lawson(318) 473-7917
(JANUARY 24, 2012) USDA OFFICIALS MEET WITH LOUISIANA BUSINESS OWNERS, FARMERS AND RESIDENTS TO DISCUSS HOUSING, JOB CREATION, ECONOMIC GROWTH AND RURAL REVITALIZATION
Luling, LA, Jan 24, 2012 --

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USDA Rural Development Housing Administrator Tammye Trevino joined business leaders and government officials today to learn their views about how the Obama Administration can help improve economic conditions and create jobs. The meeting is part of a series of Business Roundtables that are being held across the country on behalf of the White House Rural Council.

"USDA Rural Development has been successful in helping rural residents, including those here in Louisiana, obtain affordable rural housing,” Trevino said. “For more than 60 years, USDA has worked to increase homeownership opportunities for citizens living in rural areas. Continuing to invest in business, housing, and economic opportunities in our rural communities is vital for sustaining and creating jobs in Louisiana. The Obama Administration is working to ensure that rural Americans have access to affordable housing and economic opportunities.”

The roundtables give government leaders an opportunity to hear directly from business leaders around the country about their ideas on how to grow the economy. They also are intended to educate participants about USDA programs and other federal resources that help rural businesses, residents and communities.

USDA Rural Development has helped many rural Louisiana residents develop or build affordable housing. For example, Family Resources of New Orleans received a Technical Assistance Grant for $279,000 in 2010 to provide assistance in recruitment, screening, loan packaging, and related activities for prospective self-help housing applicants. This funding enabled FRNO to assist 12 families in building homes in St. Charles Parish.

USDA Rural Development Housing Programs provide homeownership opportunities for very-low to moderate income rural Americans through several loan, grant, and loan guarantee programs. The programs also make funding available to finance vital improvements to make homes, affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary.

Last year, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The council is designed to build on the Administration’s robust economic strategy for rural America and make sure that continued federal investments in rural communities create maximum benefit for rural Americans. These unparalleled rural investments are helping drive job creation and laying the foundation for rural communities that are repopulating.

"Expanding and preserving homeownership is a major part of the foundation for a stronger, more prosperous rural Louisiana and we will continue to help rural communities drive innovation and capitalize on emerging opportunities to build thriving economies," said Clarence Hawkins, Louisiana USDA Rural Development State Director.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America's rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining and thriving economically.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 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.

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USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender, provider, and employer. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Washington, DC 20250-9140.