TIYAN, Guam, Jan 30, 2014 -- Chris Kanazawa, USDA Rural Development State Director for Hawaii, American Samoa and the Western Pacific announced today the investment of over $17.2 million in various projects across the Western Pacific during Fiscal Year 2013. Funds were targeted towards first-time home buyers, home repair and rehabilitation projects, community facilities, business assistance and investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Western Pacific includes Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.
Rural Development's investments include over $12.1 million in home loans that helped 76 very-low to moderate-income families become first-time homeowners, over $3.1 million in assistance to businesses, nearly $550,000 in renewable energy & energy efficiency grants to small businesses, and over $1 million in a grant for a high energy cost area.
"These funds demonstrate the Obama Administration's unyielding efforts to improve the quality of life for rural residents by ensuring that rural communities benefit from quality public facilities such as hospitals, courthouses, and health centers," said Kanazawa. "Supporting local economies in the Western Pacific is one of the many ways the Obama Administration and USDA are working to rebuild and revitalize rural America."
"In Fiscal Year 2014 we will continue our mission of creating economic opportunity and improving the quality of life for rural residents throughout the Western Pacific, one homeowner, one small business, and one rural community at a time," said Joseph Diego, USDA Rural Development Area Director.
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.
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