Harrisburg, PA, Mar 14, 2014 -- Contact: Dawn Bonsell
USDA Rural Development in Pennsylvania Highlights Five Years of Investments
Rural Development has invested more than $4.2 billion in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, March 14, 2014 – USDA Rural Development State Director Thomas Williams today announced more than $4.2 billion in USDA Rural Development investments in Pennsylvania for fiscal years 2009-2013. Since the start of the Obama Administration, USDA 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 Pennsylvania.
"Thanks to our loan, grant and technical assistance programs, USDA Rural Development is helping Pennsylvania residents and rural enterprises thrive, and we are laying a strong foundation for the future," Williams said.
Last year, Rural Development provided approximately $34 million in electric loans and over $37 million in Water and Environmental Program loan and grants. Through its Community Facilities loan and grant program, Rural Development provided $109 million to construct or improve hospitals, universities, fire houses, libraries, borough buildings, and purchase emergency response vehicles.
Rural Development is a key player in the recovery of the nation’s housing market, particularly in rural areas. For many realtors, USDA Rural Development loans account for most of their business. In 2013, Rural Development helped 142 families with low incomes obtain safe, affordable homes, providing approximately $20 million in direct loans. More than 5,600 rural families became homeowners through loans from private lenders that were guaranteed by USDA. And, more than 250 rural individuals or families were able to repair their homes under the home repair loan and grant program.
USDA’s homeownership program is complemented by assistance that helps rural residents find affordable rental housing. Tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their income on rent for decent, safe housing. Last year, USDA provided rental assistance to 176 rural Pennsylvania residents.
USDA programs support research into new energy sources and help protect the environment. Through Rural Development's business and cooperative loan, grant and technical assistance programs, the agency helped about 64 rural small business owners or farmers improve their enterprises in 2013. Rural Development provided $30.6 million in Business and Industry loan guarantees, $10,622,880 in Renewable Energy loans and grants, $683,640 in Rural Business Enterprise grants, $300,000 in Intermediary Relending Program loans, and $415,780 in Value Added Producer Grants in 2013.
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.
View the national report here and the Pennsylvania 2013 Annual Report here.
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., 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)