Stevens Point, Wis., Dec. 19, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Wisconsin Julie Lassa announced today that USDA is investing $654,710 to expand access to housing and improve education infrastructure for underserved rural people who live and work in Wisconsin.
The investments are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensure that people living in rural America have equitable access to the infrastructure and economic opportunities they deserve.
“People, regardless of where they live, need access to safe and affordable housing as well as modern community facilities. These investments are foundational to a healthy society and Wisconsin’s vibrant rural communities,” said Lassa. “We know that when we invest in these projects, we build opportunity and prosperity for the people who call rural communities home.” [Audio: Mp3, 507KB, 21 seconds]
Today’s projects are part of a larger nation-wide announcement. The funding will benefit hundreds of thousands of people in 47 states and American Samoa. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development addresses economic development, infrastructure and social service needs for rural residents and communities.
- Couleecap Inc., will use a $69,000 Housing Preservation Grant to assist six very-low-income households in need of repairs which will bring them up to safe and sanitary conditions in Crawford, Monroe, Vernon, and La Crosse counties.
- Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council Inc. will use a $120,000 Housing Preservation Grant to rehabilitate and repair 10 homes in Clark, Eau Claire, Buffalo, Trempealeau, and Jackson counties in Western Wisconsin. Six low income and four very low-income households will be assisted.
- Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity Inc. will use a $75,000 Housing Preservation Grant to provide low and very low-income homeowners living in Washburn County as well as the surrounding communities in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk, Price, Rusk, and Taylor counties in rural Northwestern Wisconsin to assist in the repair and rehabilitation of their homes.
- Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University will use a $344,895 Tribal College Initiative Grant to assist with renovations to the interior of the Bakade Cafe located within the college campus. The Cafe provides food services to faculty, staff, students, and the LCO community. The renovations will provide a more efficient use of space, updated equipment, and is critical for the continued success of the college and the educational environment. In addition to academic programming, the campus is utilized by the community for public meetings, powwows, graduation exercises, specialized training services, company in-services, and for access to the public library.
These investments are in addition to the recent expansion of the Rural Partners Network (RPN) in Wisconsin, which is central to President Biden’s commitment to ensure all rural people can benefit from federal resources. Led by USDA with support from more than 20 federal agencies and commissions, RPN is part of an all-of-government strategy to champion rural people and places, including Native American communities.
Under the leadership of 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 https://www.rd.usda.gov/wi
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of 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.
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