Rebuilding Together in Henry County gets $139,039 in USDA rural funds

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Rebuilding Together Henry County recently completed home rehabilitation projects in Annawan and Kewanee.

Rebuilding Together Henry County will use a new federal grant of $139,039 to assist approximately 10 low and very-low-income owner-occupied households in Henry County with rehabilitation costs.’

These recipients will undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas, thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack’s Thursday announcement of $86 million in grants to improve equitable access to jobs, business opportunities, education, housing and health care for people who live and work in rural areas.

Rebuilding Together provides technical assistance, training, and financial assistance to strengthen the recipients’ organizational capacity as they work in their local communities.

Rebuilding Together Henry County makes its impact through providing free-of-charge home repairs and updates to existing homeowners in the Geneseo, Cambridge, Annawan, Colona School districts as well as the city of Kewanee.

“We are very excited to serve more of our neighbors in need,” Sarah Snyder, the nonprofit’s executive director, said Friday.

The new USDA investments are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensure that people living in rural communities have equitable access to the infrastructure and opportunities often taken for granted by people living in urban and suburban areas, according to a Thursday release.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“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 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,” he said in the release. “These investments will go a long way toward helping America ‘Build Back Better’ toward a just and more equitable society.”

Vilsack highlighted 218 investments that USDA is making in six programs specifically designed to help people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Tribal College Initiative Grants, Rural Community Development Initiative Grants, Housing Preservation Grants, Delta Health Care Grants, Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grants and Water and Waste Disposal Grants.

The funding will help more than 425,000 people in 46 states, Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development helps rural residents, businesses and communities address economic development, infrastructure and social service needs.

It will help low-income people make health and safety repairs to their homes; help build and improve water and wastewater infrastructure for people living in U.S. communities along the Mexico border; and help rural business owners in the Mississippi Delta get access to capital and business development assistance. It also will help colleges that serve Tribal populations upgrade campus buildings and services.

In another Illinois program, the Western Illinois Regional Council-Comm Action Agency is receiving a $100,000 grant to assist approximately 12 low and very-low-income owner-occupied households in the eligible areas of the counties of Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, and Williamson with rehabilitation costs.

For the complete list of ISDA rural development awards, click HERE.

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