USDA Invests Over $17.2M in Rural Development in Western Pacific, Including Guam

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Tiyan, Guam – January 30, 2014, for Fiscal Year 2013, USDA Rural Development invested over $17.2 million in various projects across the Western Pacific.

These funds were targeted towards first-time home ownership, home repair/rehabilitation, community facilities, business assistance and investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Western Pacific includes Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

Rural Development’s investment includes over $12.1 million in housing that help to assist seventy-six very-low to moderate-income families become first-time homeowners; assistance; over $3.1 million in assistance to businesses; $548,337 in renewable energy & energy efficiency grants to small businesses; and over $1.0 million in a grant for a high energy cost area.

“These funds demonstrate the Obama Administration’s unyielding efforts to improve the quality of life for rural residents by ensuring that rural communities benefit from quality public facilities such as hospitals, courthouses, and health centers,” stated Chris Kanazawa, State Director for Hawaii, American Samoa and the Western Pacific. “Supporting local economies in the Western Pacific is one of the many ways the Obama Administration and USDA are working to rebuild and revitalize rural America.”

These investments were made available through Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed Loan Programs; the Rural Housing 504 Home Repair and Rehabilitation Loan and Grant Program; the Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program; the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP); and other grant programs including the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG); Value-Added Producer Grant; High Energy Cost Grant; and the Housing Preservation Grant program.

“Rural Development will continue that mission for the Western Pacific in FY 2014 — creating economic opportunity and improving the quality of life for rural residents — one homeowner, one small business, one rural community at a time,” stated Joseph Diego, Area II Director.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.