Trump Administration Highlights Record Levels of Investment in 2020 to Build Rural American ProsperityThu, 17 Dec 2020 07:25:25 CST
Dr. Lee Denney, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director, highlighted some of the investments made during 2020 that build prosperity and strengthen rural communities and businesses in Oklahoma.
Dr. Denney said, "Despite the challenges that 2020 presented, the Oklahoma Rural Development team did an outstanding job. We assisted rural Oklahomans with safe affordable housing, access to water and wastewater, and essential community facilities. We invested in rural businesses to help retain and grow employment opportunities in rural Oklahoma. We worked to improve existing rural broadband and to extend service to rural areas that do not have access to broadband. I am proud of the Oklahoma Rural Development team and the funding that they have brought to rural Oklahoma. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives."
Rural Development Oklahoma obligated over $740 million in loans and grants across all programs in fiscal year 2020. Here are some Oklahoma highlights:
Improving Rural Infrastructure
· Invested over $92.9 million in 3 projects to upgrade or build electric infrastructure.
· Invested more than $45.5 million in direct and guaranteed loan and grant funds for 17 projects to expand access to safe drinking water and improve wastewater management systems.
· Invested over $10.3 million through the Community Facilities Programs. These investments improved essential community facilities, public safety, and schools.
Bolstering Rural Economic Development
· Invested over $32.7 million to assist 10 rural businesses through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program.
· Invested more than $560 thousand in loan and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy systems, and energy development assistance in rural businesses.
Improving Rural Quality of Life
· Invested more than $362.2 million in direct and guaranteed loans through the Single Family Housing Programs to help 2,702 low- and moderate-income families buy homes in Oklahoma.
· Invested over $13 million in the Multi-Family Housing Programs guaranteed loans to help provide affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in rural areas.
Connecting Rural America to High-Speed Broadband
· Invested more than $107.5 million to support rural broadband expansion through the ReConnect Pilot Program. These investments are connecting rural households, businesses, and farms to high-speed internet.
· Invested over $5.1 million in broadband through the Community Connect Program. These investments are connecting households in rural Oklahoma communities to high-speed internet.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.
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