September 23, 2015 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to the future of rural communities with over 40 loan and grant programs in areas of business, community, housing, and economic development. They partner to guide organizations, businesses, communities, and individuals through the process and requirements for their funding programs.
In Iowa, the USDA invested $400 million in 2014 and created over 1,000 jobs, providing improvements to critical infrastructure and upgrades to essential community facilities with 60+ communities receiving financial support. This also included providing 2,600 families with home loans.
In Illinois, USDA Rural Development provided rural Illinois with $520 million in support in 2014. That equates to $1.4 million per day. This investment includes saving and/or creating 430 jobs; helping 4,150 families purchase or refinance their home; assisting 420 very low income homeowners repair their homes with low interest loans and/or grants; providing 7,015 very low income households with rent support; assisting 200,793 rural residents with community improvements; and helping 48,803 rural families get safe water.
As a rural revitalization partner, the USDA helped to create a healthy economy through support for healthcare, regionalism, local foods production, tourism, and biofuels. Their business programs are based on job creation and provide guaranteed loans for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in communities of less than 50,000 population.
The USDA housing programs provide for safe and affordable housing with home mortgages and home repairs; rental assistance for families, elderly, and disabled residents; and farm labor housing for communities with less than 20,000 population.
Loans, grants, and loan guarantees to improve water and wastewater systems through the USDA are available to public bodies and nonprofit organizations with less than 10,000 population. Community programs through the USDA provide community facilities and services related to utilities, healthcare, emergency services, etc. for jurisdictions of less than 20,000 population. Healthcare projects funded include hospitals, medical clinics, rehabilitation centers, group homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and medical equipment. Public building and emergency services projects include libraries, community centers, fire stations and equipment, emergency services, and childcare centers. These types of project are funded with direct loans or grants. Loans are at a 40-year term at fixed interest with no maximum loan amount. Grants are based on need and median household income, and matching funds are required.