Washington, DC, May 13, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development Acting Under Secretary Doug O’Brien today announced the selection organizations in Colorado, New Mexico and North Carolina to receive grants to help increase the supply of domestic and migrant farm worker housing. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“These grants will help rural communities submit quality applications to increase their chances of receiving funding to build much-needed affordable housing for farm workers,” O’Brien said. “Safe, reliable farm worker housing supports the productivity of American farmers. This effort is in line with the Obama Administration’s broader efforts to advance the economic security of Americans living in rural areas by improving educational opportunities, providing access to affordable healthcare, and investing in infrastructure that promotes the creation of sustainable jobs.”
The recipients will assist organizations dedicated to providing affordable farm worker housing apply for funding, create applications, and build affordable farm worker housing. These applicants will be working directly with housing authorities, state and local governments, Indian tribes, non-profit organizations, and community- and faith-based groups as they apply for loans and grants to build farm worker housing.
All funding is contingent upon the finalization of the contract agreement. Below is a complete list of recipients:
• Telamon Corporation; Raleigh, N.C. (covering the Eastern region);
• Tierra Del Sol; Las Cruces, N.M. (covering the Central region); and
• Community Resources and Housing Corporation; Westminster, Colo., (covering the Western region).
Telamon and Tierra Del Sol will each receive up to $250,000 during the term of the three-year contract. The Community Resources and Housing Corporation will receive up to $210,000 during the three-year term.
USDA Rural Development’s Farm Labor Housing program provides loans and grants to buy, build, improve or repair housing for farm workers, including persons whose income is earned in aquaculture and those engaged in on-farm processing. Country Mill Farms, in Charlotte, Mich., used a Rural Development Farm Labor Housing loan to build a facility to house agricultural workers. Country Mill Farms is family-owned and dates back to 1871. It produces apples, cider and other produce.
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 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 a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
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