USDA Announces Investments in Rural Community Facilities

TEMPLE, November 24, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced investments to improve rural community infrastructure, provide essential services and improve access to health care across rural America through Rural Development’s Community Facilities (CF) program.  These investments in health facilities and support for first responders come as the department celebrates National Rural Health Week.  

“Rural America deserves quality, affordable health care, but too often local communities lack the capital to invest in improving the facilities that deliver that care,” Vilsack said. “I am especially proud of the role that USDA plays in addressing the critical needs for health care facilities, including mental health facilities.”

With this announcement, Secretary Vilsack said that the department has eclipsed a goal, set in December of 2013, of investing up to $50 million in CF funds over the subsequent three years to develop or improve mental health facilities and services in rural areas.  CF funding in 2015 more than quadrupled that goal in just two years, funding more than $213 million in 80 projects in 34 states.

Among the awards announced to support health care services, $42,451,000 will be awarded to five projects located in rural Texas communities.  Funding of each grant and loan announced is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the funding agreement.  

“We are pleased to support rural Texas communities in providing modern medical facilities and emergency response equipment for their residents,” said Tom Hannah, USDA Rural Development Acting Texas State Director.  “Providing quality healthcare locally saves critical time and the lives of rural residents.”
 
Since 2009, USDA has awarded $9.7 billion under its Community Facilities programs, including $4.9 billion for 1,052 health care projects; $266 million for improvements to 206 public schools; $133 million for 555 libraries; $39 million for 240 day care centers; and $791 million to support 4,876 public safety facilities in rural areas.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has produced historic investments in rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have strengthened America’s small towns and cities and helped improve the nation’s economy.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. 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.  For information on this and other USDA Rural Development programs in Texas, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/tx.

 

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