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USDA Rural Development Has Record Year Assisting Hoosiers

1/24/2012

USDA Rural Development Has Record Year Assisting Hoosiers

Over $1.2 Billion in Projects help numerous Indiana communities and Hoosiers

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has released its Fiscal Year 2011 data for Indiana. A record $1,278,839,959 in investments was approved for projects in the state during the past fiscal year which ran from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011.

USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director Phil Lehmkuhler said, “Not only was this a remarkable year for USDA Rural Development but also for the residents of Indiana. The impact these dollars make throughout the state will touch the lives of many Hoosiers. USDA Rural Development is committed to revitalizing Indiana’s rural communities and bringing quality facilities such as hospitals, public buildings and community centers to small towns and cities that can benefit from new construction or upgrades to existing ones.”

USDA Rural Development’s Business Programs invested $34,766,663 through 89 projects, of which over $1.7 million represented Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Program loans and grants. The purpose of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. This purpose is achieved by bolstering the existing private credit structure through the guarantee of quality loans which will provide lasting community benefits.

Community Programs provided 22 community projects worth $54,345,883 and 18 Water & Waste projects for $35,017,400. Seven Utility Program projects were approved for $559,679,880.

Community/Utility Programs are the foundation of rural infrastructure. Community Programs provide loans and grants and loan guarantees for water and environmental projects, as well as community facilities projects. Water and environmental projects include water systems, waste systems, solid waste, and storm drainage facilities. Community facilities projects develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas and may include hospitals, fire protection, safety, as well as many other community-based initiatives. The Utilities Program can provide electric power and telecommunications services which help rural areas expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for their residents.

Housing Programs invested $595,030,133 in Indiana housing through 5,610 projects and rental assistance, helping a record 5,389 rural Hoosiers purchase their own home in the past 12 months. USDA Rural Development programs continue to provide homeownership opportunities during the current housing and credit crisis. Rural Development loans are available with no down payment and no private mortgage insurance.

"We increased our outreach to lenders and real estate professionals serving smaller communities and let them know that, with our help, affordable fixed rate financing could get more people into their own homes," said Lehmkuhler.

The Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loans made by private lenders account for most of the volume and funds are continuously available. The demand for our direct loans for people with low and very low incomes is high and the funding is limited. According to Lehmkuhler, "Now that we''re into fiscal year 2012, we anticipate having ample direct loan funds to process applications for the next several months."

USDA Rural Development financial programs support such essential public facilities and services as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities and electric and telephone service. They promote economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools. They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural and other cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their member services. And they provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs.

Further information on Rural Development programs is also available at USDA’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/.


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