Design and Construction, Emergency Preparedness

USDA Awards $185M in Rural Community Facilities Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is investing $185 million to equip, rebuild, and modernize facilities and essential services in rural areas of 32 states. According to the federal agency, the investments will benefit 3 million rural residents.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has made investing in infrastructure improvements a priority,” says USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson. “These loans and grants will help rural communities invest in facilities and services that are vital to all communities, such as schools, libraries, hospitals, and health clinics. They also will help rural communities continue to beat the COVID-19 pandemic as America builds back better and stronger.”

Specifically, the USDA is investing in 233 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. Of these, 74 awards, totaling $4 million, will help communities with their long-term recovery efforts following natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.

Examples of these latest investments include the following:

  • In California, the El Dorado County Community Health Center is receiving an $18.5 million loan to build a medical facility for residents and workers in and around Placerville. The USDA says the center is a key player in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in El Dorado County. It also provides medical, behavioral health, dental, pharmacy, and substance misuse treatment services.
  • In West Virginia, the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle is receiving an $800,000 loan to purchase a facility to house the club’s child care services. Its child care program is open to all children who live in Morgan County. The club will rent a portion of the facility to a nonprofit health care provider.
  • In North Carolina, the Potters Hill Volunteer Fire Department is receiving a $375,000 disaster grant and a $795,000 direct loan to replace three high-mileage, unreliable fire trucks. The new trucks will provide essential fire protection and emergency services primarily for rural residents and businesses in Duplin County in eastern North Carolina. Many parts of the area suffered considerable damage from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018.

According to the USDA, more than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

A full rundown of projects receiving this latest round of funding is available here.