Funding Available for Communities Affected By Hurricanes, Floods and Other Natural Disasters
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is accepting applications for funds to help rural communities affected by natural disasters. The funds are authorized under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009.
"This assistance will help individuals, businesses and communities in areas that were declared a major disaster in calendar year 2008," Vilsack said. "USDA will work to ensure that these funds help rural citizens rebuild their communities and their lives from the devastating effects of tornados, hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters."
USDA Rural Development plans to distribute $188 million: $150 million is being allocated to communities declared disaster areas in calendar year 2008, and $38 million will be used for housing assistance in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Community Facilities Programs:
Under this announcement, USDA will make $169.5 million available in direct Community Facilities loans; $157.4 million in guaranteed loans and $24.2 million in grants. Community Facilities programs finance the development of essential community facilities in rural areas. These include hospitals, medical clinics, elderly care, first responder equipment and facilities, vocational and medical rehabilitation centers, and educational facilities. Eligible applicants include public entities such as local governments and special-purpose districts, nonprofit corporations, including Faith-based and neighborhood organizations, and Federally-recognized tribal governments in designated disaster areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
USDA will make $1.04 billion available for guaranteed loans to purchase or refinance homes; $549 million for direct loans; $18.8 million for loans to build or repair multi-family housing; $19.9 million in grants to repair homes; $1.9 million for rental assistance vouchers and $504,000 in housing repair loans.
Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program:
USDA will make $445.9 million available in guaranteed loans to support the development of small and emerging private businesses. Eligible applicants include cooperative organizations, corporations, partnerships, nonprofit groups; Federally recognized Indian tribes, public bodies and individuals.
Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program:
USDA will make more than $4.8 million available in Rural Business Enterprise Program grants to assist small and emerging businesses in rural areas.
Water and Environmental Programs:
USDA will make more than $49.5 million available in loans, $15 million in grants and $2 million in Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants to help rural communities build, expand or repair water, wastewater and waste disposal facilities in designated disaster areas.
For additional information, see the June 25 Federal Register, page 30264.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov.
Contact: Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384 Office of Communications (202) 720-4623