USDA EXTENDS MORATORIUM

Alabama State Office, Rural Development

United States Department of Agriculture

4121 Carmichael Road, Suite 601

Montgomery, Alabama 36106

Phone: (334) 279-3441 |

www.rd.usda.gov/al

Biden-Harris Administration Extends Moratorium of Residential Evictions in USDA Multifamily Housing Communities in Accordance with CDC Guidance USDA Extends Eviction Moratorium to July 31, 2021WASHINGTON, June 24, 2021 — Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended through July 31, 2021, the moratorium on evictions of the hundreds-of-thousands of Americans who live in  multifamily housing communities supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Single-Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans. “The United States is recovering from a nationwide housing affordability crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why, in a whole-of-government effort, USDA is taking this important action today,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson. “Today’s actions will give tenants at USDA-supported properties essential relief while the Department  extends the  emergency rental assistance provided by the American Rescue Plan Act.” Beyond July 31, 2021, USDA will continue to offer emergency assistance to USDA multi-family housing property owners and tenants who are experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic. For more information about the protections provided under this moratorium extension, see the: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability By Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing ForeclosuresUSDA’s Multi-Family Housing Programs provide affordable multi-family rental housing in rural areas by financing projects geared for very-low-income families, the elderly, people with disabilities, and domestic farm workers. USDA also extends assistance through loan guarantees for affordable rental housing for very-low- to moderate-income residents in rural areas and towns. Additionally, the Department provides grants to sponsoring organizations to repair or rehabilitate housing for eligible families and subsidizes rents for low-income tenants who cannot afford to pay their full rent.  COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on rural America. Families have lost their homes, students have resorted to unconventional solutions to access schoolwork online, the need for food assistance has grown, and access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations has been limited. The American Rescue Plan Act implements funding that invests in the people of Rural America now and beyond the July 31 moratorium extension. It provides: $100 million through September 2022 in rental assistance for very-low-income tenants. $39 million through September 2023 to help refinance direct loans under the Single-Family Housing Loan Program and the Single-Family Housing Repair Loans. $500 million in Community Facility Program funds to help rural hospitals and local communities broaden access to COVID-19 vaccines and food assistance.In addition to programs facilitated by USDA, the American Rescue Plan Act provides significant investments in rural communities by expanding internet connectivity. It also establishes a homeowner assistance fund to assist struggling homeowners with mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities and other housing-related costs. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov

USDA Invests Over $400 Thousand to Improve Rural Community Facilities and Essential Services in Alabama

Funding will Help Assist Public Safety Agencies and Local Governments to Serve Rural Residents

MONTGOMERY, Ala., June 23, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it is investing $437,300 to provide modern equipment to public safety agencies and local governments that provide essential services in rural Alabama. The investments will benefit over 17,000 rural residents.

“Local governments and public safety agencies are on the front lines every day, providing essential services to rural residents,” said Rural Development Alabama Acting State Director Allen Bowen. “This assistance, some of it going to purchase critical and lifesaving equipment, will greatly increase the ability of these entities to serve Alabama’s rural areas. With the help of USDA Rural Development, we can work to help rural communities across America build back stronger.”

Background:

USDA is investing in 3 projects in Alabama through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program:

  • In Chambers County, the city of Lanett is receiving a $48,000 grant to purchase two fully equipped utility police vehicles for the police department. The new police vehicles will come with lights, sirens, computers, printers, safety bars, detainee transport partitions, and advanced communication systems. The updated vehicles will complement Lanett Police Department’s current capabilities, will provide police officers with safer and more modern equipment, will allow law enforcement to better serve rural residents, and will provide for quicker response times for police for the approximately 6,500 residents.
  • In Colbert County, the city of Tuscumbia is receiving a $214,100 loan to purchase needed equipment for several departments in the city of Tuscumbia. The city will purchase a knuckle boom crane for the public works department, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment and extrication equipment for its fire department, and a police vehicle for its police department. The SCBA equipment, extrication equipment, and police vehicle will replace aging equipment which will increase safety for, and the response capability for first responders. With the addition of the knuckle boom crane, the public works department will increase its capacity to serve the residents of Tuscumbia. The purchase of this equipment will benefit approximately 8,500 residents both in Tuscumbia and in surrounding areas.
  • In Jackson County, the Macedonia Fire Protection Authority is receiving a $96,000 disaster grant and a $79,000 direct loan to purchase a water tanker fire truck. The fire truck will replace an older water tanker truck that is currently in service. Because of the rural area in which the Authority operates, and the small number of fire hydrants available for firefighting, the purchase of this truck will increase the firefighting capability of the Authority. Additionally, the purchase of a new truck will allow for faster response times, greater equipment reliability, and increased safety for first responders. This investment will benefit more than 2,800 rural residents in Jackson County.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

To learn more about Community Facilities Program funding opportunities in Alabama, contact your local USDA Rural Development Area Office. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB) for a detailed overview of the application process.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

USDA Launches Grant Program to Help Expand Regional Economies and Create High-Wage Jobs in Distressed Rural CommunitiesWASHINGTON, June 15, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Karama Neal today unveiled a new grant program to help rural communities create good-paying jobs and support new business opportunities in high-growth fields.Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) is intended to help rural communities identify and maximize local assets and connect to networks and industry clusters within their region. The new grant encourages a regional, innovation-driven approach to economic development.“USDA is innovating the way we do business,” Neal said. “The RISE program ensures that critical funding supports long-term and sustainable economic growth in the rural communities and regions that need it most.”RISE provides grants of up to $2 million to consortiums of local governments, investors, industry, institutions of higher education, and other public and private entities in rural areas. The funds may be used to form job accelerator partnerships and create high-wage jobs, start or expand businesses, and support economic growth in the rural areas of their region.Funding may also be used to establish and operate innovation centers and partnerships, such as integrating rural businesses into new supply chains, providing workforce training and identifying community assets.To help ensure long-term and sustainable community and economic development, award recipients must support projects for at least four years.Applicants are encouraged to contact their nearest USDA Rural Development State Office ahead of the application deadline for more information about the program or the application process.Starting June 16, 2021, applications will be accepted electronically at Grants.gov. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug. 2, 2021. Information about the application process is available in a notice in the Federal Register. For additional information about the program, see the final rule on page 31585 of the June 15 Federal Register.USDA is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time to help stakeholders and potential applicants learn more about this funding opportunity. To register, please visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9046642451030677262.Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
ALLEN BOWAN INTERVIEWED BY RANDY WILLIAMS

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