News Release
Release No.STELPRD4022537
ContactChris J. Kanazawa808-933-8301
Donald Etes808-933-8313
HILO, Hawaii, Dec 04, 2013 --

    @@USDA Rural Development State Director Chris Kanazawa announced that the Catholic Social Services (CSS) is the recipient of a $50,000 grant award from USDA Rural Development. The award was made available through the highly competitive, Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program.

    CSS will utilize the grant to assist in the repair and rehabilitate of the Liheng apartment complex located in Mangilao, Guam. The Liheng apartment complex is a two-story, eight-unit facility with each unit consisting of a two-bedroom, one bath layout. Wheelchair accessible apartments for the elderly population ages 55 and above is also available. Social workers from CSS provide assistance to the tenants of Liheng.

    The $50,000 USDA grant will be combined with $27,500 from CSS for renovation and improvement projects for the Liheng apartment complex.

    "The Obama Administration is working to ensure that rural homeowners have safe,

    sanitary, energy-efficient places to live, and USDA is working with community organizations

    and non-profit groups such as CSS to make needed repairs to critically needed facilities like Liheng," Kanazawa stated. "It is invigorating to know that RD funds will be utilized to assist residents of Liheng with a better quality of life with improved facilities."

    "We are excited to begin our partnership with USDA Rural Development in the implementation of a Housing Preservation Grant to repair and rehabilitate housing earmarked for low income families, including elderly and individuals with disabilities," said Diane Calvo, CSS Executive Director. "The Housing Preservation Grant will enable us to improve the infrastructure of a well-used complex and allow us to continue the sheltering assistance in an upgraded home environment."

    The HPG program provides grants to sponsoring organizations for the repair or rehabilitation of low- and very low-income housing.  The grants are competitive and are made available in areas where there is a concentration of need. Those assisted must own very low- or low-income housing, either as homeowners, landlords, or members of a cooperative. For fiscal year 2013, a little over $4.2 million was made available for competitive grant applications through the HPG.

    CSS is a faith-based, non-profit social services organization established in 1979. Their mission is to encourage the development of the spiritual, intellectual, economic, and social well-being of families, persons with disabilities, abused adults and children, the elderly, the homeless and others in need of services. We will respect the dignity of persons of all ages. We will collaborate with others to find the best way to service the community.

    USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development 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.

    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.


    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., S.W., 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).