Lincoln, Nebraska, Nov 13, 2012 -- Nebraska’s rural communities have received nearly $257.3 million in USDA Rural Development funding in federal fiscal year 2012, completed on September 30. In four years, USDA has invested more than $1 billion in Nebraska, according to Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul. In the 16 year history of the agency, total funding is at $2.3 billion in Nebraska. The total portfolio of current loans, loans and loan guarantees under management by the Nebraska Rural Development staff is $1.21 billion.
The program funds assist housing, business and community development, water and waste water, energy, distance learning and telemedicine, electric and telecommunications. Water and waste water funds are limited to communities of less than 10,000 population. Housing and community facility funding is available to towns of 20,000 population or less. Businesses and industries in communities up to 50,000 residents can obtain funding through the business programs.
“Essentially, we can work with every community in this state, outside of Metro Omaha and Lincoln,” Moul said. “The 50 Nebraska employees of USDA Rural Development look forward to serving rural Nebraska in the next year.” Funding is available for fiscal year 2013 and applications are being accepted.
“Nebraska communities, businesses and citizens invested millions of dollars in fiscal year 2012, with the support and resources of USDA Rural Development,” said Moul. “Our Nebraska staff strives each year to utilize the financial resources available through USDA Rural Development to help build stronger rural communities throughout the state.”
Private and community foundations and counties, municipalities and other local governments contributed strongly to the projects funded in the past year. For every dollar invested by USDA Rural Development for direct loans for community facilities, 43 cents was contributed at the local level. For all business program funding, 45 cents came from local dollars for every $1.00 of federal funds.
Nearly $130.1 million was delivered to Nebraska for housing, which was a record year.
• The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program and the Single Family Housing Direct Loan program brought homeownership to 1,311 households through more than $123.4 million.
• The Rural Home Repair Loan and Grant program provided $229,000 in assistance to 49 Nebraska homeowners for essential repairs.
• Two Housing Preservation Grants (HPG) totaling $50,000 were awarded to assist in repairing homes of very-low and low income family households.
• More than $6 million of rental assistance and vouchers were provided to 1,655 tenants residing in a Rural Development multi-family rural rental housing complex. There are 226 multi-family projects in the state.
• The Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program provided a $348,553 grant to revitalize one Multi-Family Housing project in order to extend the affordable use of the project.
More than $79.6 million was delivered to Nebraska through its Community Programs. This is a 273 percent increase from federal fiscal year 2011 in dollars delivered and also a record amount.
• The Community Facilities Program assisted 14 communities through $64.5 million for libraries, public safety, community/senior centers, health facilities and tribal colleges and installation for electronic medical records.
• Through the Water and Environmental Programs, 15 communities and 10,700 rural residents were helped by $15.1 million for safe, potable drinking water and safe and sanitary wastewater disposal.
• One Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) of $170,170 was selected that will provide technical assistance to recipients to develop leadership, youth engagement, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
More than $18.9 million was delivered through various business programs. The programs assisted 37 businesses and 24 Ag producers. Jobs totaling 780 were created and/or saved.
• The Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan program made available nearly $13.5 million that, through leveraging, assisted 11 businesses.
• The Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program provided seven grants totaling nearly $350,000.
• The Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) program delivered $185,200 to two recipients.
• One Intermediary Relending Loan Program (IRP) recipient was awarded $223,000.
• Through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, two loans totaling more than $1.1 million and four grants for more than $920,000 were awarded.
• The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) provided two grant renewals totaling nearly $95,500. Since 2010, three recipients have received loans totaling $1.2 million. To date, 30 ultimate recipient loans have been made for nearly $792,000. The RMAP program dollars were leveraged with more than $1.2 million in local funds.
• The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program provided funding totaling more than $682,000 to five producers.
• One Rural Cooperative Development Grant for $175,000 was awarded.
• Through the 9007 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Nebraska was awarded 31 projects for a total of more than $420,000 for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
• The Advanced Biofuel Payment Program issued five payments totaling nearly $1.3 million to advanced biofuel producers to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels.
USDA Rural Utilities Service Electric Guaranteed Loans were received by three recipients totaling $27,619,000. The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program awarded funding totaling $969,312 to four Nebraska recipients.
Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/ for additional program information or to locate an USDA Rural Development Office nearest you.
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 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.