WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP) – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $86 million to improve equitable access to jobs, business opportunities, education, housing and health care for people who live and work in rural areas. 

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted 218 investments in six programs specifically designed to help people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Tribal College Initiative GrantsRural Community Development Initiative GrantsHousing Preservation GrantsDelta Health Care GrantsSocially Disadvantaged Group Grants and Water and Waste Disposal Grants.

“Regardless of where they live, their race, ethnicity or gender, or the size of the town in which they live, all people must have access to good jobs, decent housing, clean water and good job opportunities,” Vilsack said. “This is foundational to a healthy society and stable communities. Today’s announcements build on the historic investments made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law by President Biden to ensure equity during a time when people living in underserved places are suffering the most. The investments I am announcing today will go a long way toward helping America ‘Build Back Better’ toward a just and more equitable society.”

Connecticut funding:

  • Rebuilding Together Litchfield County has received a Housing Preservation Grant in the amount of $55,040. This Rural Development investment will be used to support the repair or rehabilitation of five housing units owned or occupied by low- and very-low-income rural citizens in rural Litchfield County.

Massachusetts funding:

  • RCAP Solutions, Inc. has received a Rural Community Development Initiative Grant in the amount of $250,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to provide financial and technical assistance for building capacity projects in Massachusetts, Maine and Pennsylvania.  The first project is a Geographic Information System mapping tool for rural, low-income water and wastewater systems, and the second project will focus on intensive financial and managerial capacity building for water and wastewater system leadership.  

Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs in an effort to improve the quality of life for people living and working 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.