While 2020 has been a uniquely challenging time for our nation, the significant investments made in rural Alabama this year by the Trump administration will have positive effects for generations to come.
Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alone, the administration of President Donald J. Trump directly backed the Yellowhammer State to the tune of more than $1.5 billion over the past 12 months.
Chris Beeker III, Alabama state director for USDA Rural Development, emphasized the magnitude and widespread reach of these investments in enhancing the prosperity of rural Alabama.
“The Trump Administration and the USDA invested over $1.5 billion in Alabama’s rural communities in 2020,” Beeker confirmed.
“These investments provided much-needed support to Alabama’s rural areas,” he outlined. “The USDA responded urgently to help COVID-19 affected communities. We also worked to connect rural areas with the world via broadband internet, to help rural fire and police departments with lifesaving equipment, to bring improved and modern community facilities to rural Alabama, to help utilities provide safe water and wastewater services, and to assist businesses to provide essential services and jobs in our rural communities.”
Beeker concluded, “USDA also helped to bring the American dream to rural families across Alabama through it’s housing programs. USDA Rural Development’s assistance to rural American communities is key to our country’s success, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA provided the following list of FY20 investments made in Alabama:
- Invested $68.1 million to support rural businesses through the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program, of which $15.9 million was provided though the CARES act.
- Invested $1.1 million to support rural business through the Rural Business Development Grant Program, helping 8 programs provide technical assistance and training for rural small businesses.
- Invested $351,000 to support 13 agricultural producers and rural small businesses in renewable energy investments and making energy efficient improvements through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
- Invested $15.1 million to help 102 low-income rural families to buy homes through the Single Family Housing Direct Home Loan Program.
- Invested $719.2 million to help 4,781 low- to moderate-income families to buy homes through the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program.
- Invested $642,000 in loans and grants to help 108 low-income and elderly Alabamians to perform repairs to their home, or to correct health and safety issues in their homes through the Single Family Housing Repair Loan and Grant Program.
- Invested $103 million in 20 different projects across rural Alabama to support rural broadband expansion, as well as to connect rural schools and rural medical facilities through USDA’s Telcom Programs, as well as the ReConnect Pilot Program.
- Invested $8.7 million in Multi-Family Housing Direct Loans to provide affordable multi-family rental housing for low-income, elderly, or disabled individuals and families in rural Alabama.
- Invested $318,000 in Housing Preservation Grants to provide repairs or rehabilitation to multi-family housing owned or occupied by low- and very-low-income rural citizens.
- Invested $6.7 million in grants and $15.7 million in loans in 24 different projects to provide safe drinking water and safe waste disposal in rural communities across Alabama.
- Invested $1.4 million in grants and $15.5 million in loans in 49 different projects across Alabama to provide modern community facilities, as well as needed equipment for first responders and to support infrastructure in rural areas.
- Invested $540 million to improve electrical infrastructure in rural Alabama.
- Invested $36.2 million to provide assistance to low-income tenants in rural Alabama.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn