WASHINGTON, Jan 23, 2013 -- Local Contact: Dawn Bonsell: 717-237-2286
National Contact: Office of Communications: 202-720-4623
USDA Highlights 2012 Investments to Build Stronger Rural Communities
Rural Development helps to invest more than $862 million to strengthen rural Pennsylvania
WASHINGTON, January 23, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently issued a report highlighting USDA Rural Development’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 investments in job creation, businesses, infrastructure and housing for Americans living in rural communities across the nation.
“President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment in rural communities that have made them stronger,” Vilsack said. “Thanks to our loan, grant and technical assistance programs, USDA Rural Development is helping residents and rural enterprises thrive, and we are laying a strong foundation for rural America’s future.”
With an active portfolio of more than $176 billion in loans and loan guarantees, Rural Development has provided affordable housing, improved utility infrastructure, and helped businesses and cooperatives create jobs, build rural economies and increase the quality of life in rural areas. A full copy of the 2012 National Office Progress Report can be viewed at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/RD2012ProgressReport.pdf.
Pennsylvania Rural Development issued more than $862 million in loans, grants and loan guarantees last year. Through these investments in homeownership, infrastructure, and job creation, Rural Development programs have helped many rural Pennsylvanians.
Over $696 million was invested in housing programs in 2012. As a result, 4,900 families were able to purchase homes through Rural Development’s direct and loan guarantee home mortgage programs. Approximately 290 existing homeowners in rural Pennsylvania utilized Rural Development’s low interest loan and grant programs to make necessary repairs to their homes. Additionally, Rural Development’s rental assistance program helped low and very-low income families lower their rent payments to an affordable level.
Pennsylvania rural communities received more than $57 million in loans and grants to construct or improve rural libraries, schools, or hospitals and to purchase equipment for first-responders. For example, in the rural city of Mansfield, Mansfield University received a $35.2 million loan to construct new residence halls and Fell Charter School in Carbondale received $6.4 million for the construction of a new school. In Nanticoke City, Rural Development provided a $38,400 grant for the purchase of two new police cruisers.
More than 45 small business owners and farmers utilized Rural Development programs to make capital improvements, restructure their debts, or make other business changes to create and/or save jobs in our rural communities. Slightly more than $28 million in Business and Industry loan guarantees were issued and about $2 million in loans and grants were issued to businesses and economic development corporations in 2012. Rural Development also invested more than $76 million in rural Pennsylvania’s infrastructure through telecommunications, electric, and water and waste disposal programs.
The 2012 Pennsylvania Rural Development Progress Report can be viewed at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Publications/2012_PA_Annual_Report_Color.pdf. For additional information on Rural Development projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for the past four fiscal years. 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 $176 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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).