United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced on March 23, the USDA is investing $266 million to build and improve critical community facilities to benefit nearly 3 million rural residents in 16 states and Puerto Rico.
This funding includes $156 million to support health-care-related improvements and emergency response services benefitting nearly 1 million rural residents in nine states and Puerto Rico.
“The Biden-Harris administration has made beating the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring the economy a top-priority, and USDA is playing a critical role,” Maxson said. “USDA Rural Development programs and services are in a unique position to help rural communities facing challenges caused by the pandemic.
“The investments announced today will spur community development and build sound infrastructure like hospitals and medical facilities to help rural America build back better and stronger.”
USDA will invest in 41 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program and the assistance will fund a variety of essential community services, including emergency response vehicles and equipment.
Along with Puerto Rico, the states receiving these investments are Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding with eligible applicants including 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.
Project examples include:
The North Olympic Healthcare Network in Washington will use a $4 million loan to purchase the building it currently leases to provide community health services.
Ownership will enable the network to lower costs and provide more services to its clients, most of whom are low-income or lack health insurance.
This project will benefit more than 19,000 rural residents.
The Deborah Heart and Lung Center in New Jersey is receiving an $88 million loan to upgrade all double-occupancy, in-patient rooms to private suites.
This will help improve patient and visitor safety, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funds will also provide an in-patient tower of individual patient suites.
This project will benefit nearly 800,000 rural residents.
The Allegan County Community Mental Health Services in Michigan will use a $5 million loan to purchase and renovate a building to consolidate the county’s Community Mental Health Services division into one building.
The agency provides medical, behavioral health, care management, outreach and dental services.
This project will benefit more than 111,000 rural residents.
Interested parties with projects should contact their USDA Rural Development state office by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/state-offices, for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details.
Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants for a detailed overview of the application process.