USDA ANNOUNCES $6.5 MILLION TO SPUR RURAL ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN 19 STATES
WASHINGTON, June 2, 2005-Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced more than $6.5 million in technical assistance grants to assist 35 nonprofit community-based development organizations and low-income communities or federally recognized tribes to improve their ability to develop rural housing, technology, economic development and community facilities in 19 states.
"The recipients selected have demonstrated a commitment to serving their communities," said Johanns. "These grant funds will help ensure that local community leaders have the resources they need to assist their communities to create new economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for more rural residents."
The technical assistance grant program was created by Congress in 2000 to assist in the development or increase the capacity of nonprofit organizations, low-income rural communities or federally recognized tribes to undertake projects in the areas of housing, community facilities, and community and economic development in rural areas.
In Georgia for example, Southwest Georgia Regional Development Center will use $300,000 in grant funds to provide technical assistance to local governments within a 14-county service area to address local housing issues. Assistance will include housing development strategies, home ownership education, housing laws and code enforcement, along with other housing related issues.
In South Dakota, the First Nations Oweesta Corporation will use $300,000 to provide technical and financial assistance for four recipient non-profit Native American organizations. The assistance will help recipients increase their capacity to conduct sustainable community and economic development initiatives.
Recipients are required to obtain matching funds that will double the impact of the USDA grants. Funding of individual recipients will be contingent upon meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. A complete list of 2005 recipients can be found at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rd/newsroom/news.htm.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development has invested over $50 billion since the beginning of the Bush Administration to provide equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. As a result, over 800,000 jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.