Activities Support Affordable Housing, Business Ventures and Community Infrastructure
(Elko-Oct. 5, 2012) USDA Rural Development, one of the seven mission areas of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), today announced it has invested over $240 million in rural Nevadans and their communities during FY 2012, supporting affordable housing, small business ventures and infrastructure improvements– such as community buildings, emergency response equipment and utility systems.
USDA Rural Development State Director Sarah Adler announced the total at the Nevada League of Cities conference in Elko, where she presented a “From the Ground Up” award to the City of West Wendover for its commitment to infrastructure improvement.
In regard to 2012 year-end funding, Adler said she was glad the agency programs have been so successful in bringing development and mortgage capital into rural Nevada, especially during a time of economic recovery. “I am pleased that our team helped leverage the efforts of hard working communities and lenders throughout the state,” she said. “Rural communities make great contributions to our state and hold great promise.”
Through its affordable housing program, USDA RD brought 801 families into homeownership with over $124 million in housing assistance, including $108 million in guaranteed mortgage loans for low and moderate income Nevadans in rural areas of the state. Another 34 families benefited from the 504 home repair program which provided $157,708 in grants and loans to low income families and seniors to complete repairs to enhance accessibility and safety.
The Business Development Program awarded just over $115 million in guaranteed loans, grants and direct loans to help boost business ventures in rural Nevada. The largest guaranteed loan was to Sierra Fulcrum Biofuels, which received a $105 million loan guarantee to finance development of a ground-breaking facility to convert municipal solid waste into advanced biofuels. The Nevada plant is expected to create an estimated 430 jobs during construction and 53 permanent jobs in Storey County, 20 miles east of Reno. Once operational, the plant is expected to convert 147,000 tons of processed municipal solid waste into over 10 million gallons of advanced biofuels annually using a two-part thermo-chemical process.
This year, USDA RD’s Community Programs invested $1.4 million in critically needed community services, such as community building improvements, emergency response equipment, commercial kitchen equipment and water line replacements to ensure health and safety of rural residents. The towns of Tonopah and West Wendover both benefitted from the low cost loans for water and utility system improvements. These projects provide for major infrastructure improvements at affordable rates, and create a significant numbers of construction jobs, while preparing rural communities for long-term, positive growth.
Over the past four fiscal years, USDA RD has invested more than $600 million in affordable housing, business ventures and community programs and utility systems in rural Nevada.
USDA Rural Development has offices in Carson City, Fallon, Las Vegas and Elko. For more information, visit the USDA RD website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/NVHome.html