USDA Rural Development Invests Over $700 Million
“Pennsylvania had a record 2009 fiscal year, exceeding our national allocations in almost every program area and investing more than $700 million to rural Pennsylvania”, said Tom Williams, USDA Rural Development state director.
Rural Development’s $495 million statewide housing investments assisted more than 3,700 homeowners with purchasing a new home or repairing an existing home. A portion of the housing investment also provided rental assistance to lowincome families and senior citizens.
The business program’s $57 million investment assisted business development in rural areas to create and save jobs. Over $14 million in community facilities loans and $1.5 million in grants provided rural communities with essential community services such as, equipment or vehicle purchases and fire station construction or renovations.
Developing, improving and repairing water and sewer systems is critical to a healthy environment. Twenty-two communities received more than $73.5 million in water and sewer loans and/or grants for this purpose. Over $40 million in electric loans were awarded for new electric lines and system improvements and over $100,000 was awarded for Distance Learning and Telemedicine programs.
“While we are very proud of our accomplishments for FY09, we’ve set our goals even higher for FY10 and will continue to support our commitment to the future of Pennsylvania’s rural communities,” said Williams.
USDA Rural Development serves as the lead federal agency for rural development needs by offering financial and technical assistance to individuals, businesses and communities. USDA Rural Development programs include funding for daycare centers, fire trucks and other community facility projects; the purchase, construction or repair of homes; loans and guarantees to rural businesses to save or create jobs and renewable energy; and loans and grants for water and sewer utility projects. For more information on programs offered by USDA Rural Development, contact the Pennsylvania State Office at 717-237-2299 or visit its Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/pa.