USDA Rural Development

The USDA Rural Development is a branch of the US Department of Agriculture aiming to improve the life quality, cooperatives, and economics of Rural America.

It primarily promotes the growth and development of the lives of individuals living in rural areas. The said government branch has a wide variety of initiatives and programs that mainly assist and support individuals in need.

Moreover, the USDA Rural Development serves as a strong foundation for the assistance of every individual in rural America.

Originally, the Department of Agriculture was reorganized on October 13, 1994, under the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 and the Federal Crop Insurance  Reform Act of 1994.

The reorganization from the said Acts created the USDA Rural Development. Refer below to the list of initiatives that the USDA Rural Development administers.

  • Rural housing
  • Community facilities
  • Utility programs
  • Water and waste disposal
  • Rural businesses

As the USDA Rural Development aims to improve lives, it provides a broad range of services for its beneficiaries. The USDA Rural Development always assures that they’re accomplishing their mission appropriately through these services. Below are some of the main services offered by the USDA Rural Development.

  • Loans for businesses through credit unions, banks, and community-managed lending pools to promote economic development.
  • Technical assistance for the operation and production of farms of agricultural cooperatives.
  • Assist communities in rural areas by having housing and repair programs for eligible individuals.

Agencies of the USDA Rural Development

The USDA Rural Development consists of three agencies to properly handle the programs and initiatives of the government branch. Each agency has its mission to provide for the needs of individuals within rural areas.

Below is the list of agencies and their purpose. 

Rural Housing Service

The USDA’s Rural Housing Service is the agency that manages the housing programs and community facility programs within rural areas.

It offers a wide variety of housing programs and related programs within community facilities for individuals. The said agency offers loans, grants, and loan guarantees through its initiatives.

Below are some of the housing and community facilities that are offered by the said agency.

  • Single- and multi-family housing
  • Child care centers
  • Fire and police stations
  • Nursing homes
  • Housing for farm laborers

Rural Utilities Service

The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service manages the programs related to the improvement of buildings and infrastructure within rural areas. It provides a wide variety of services that can help each infrastructure to fix problems and improve its facilities.

These services are a huge aid to enhance the economic opportunities for infrastructure in the rural area.

Some services offered by the USDA’s Rural Utilities  Service

  • Water treatment
  • Waste treatment
  • Electric power
  • Telecommunications services

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

The USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service supervises the programs for businesses within rural areas. It primarily assists and helps business owners to solve their respective problems or improve their businesses.

These programs include education, training, entrepreneurial skills, and capital for its beneficiaries. Below are the goals of the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

  • Support the growth and development of businesses.
  • Create wealth by assisting and supporting businesses in rural America.
  • Improve the programs that serve the cooperatives.
  • Create and keep jobs within the local areas of rural America through the use of its resources.

Programs offered by the USDA Rural Development

The USDA Rural Development offers a wide variety of assistance programs for individuals. These assistance programs can be loans, grants, or loan guarantees.

Moreover, these initiatives are categorized per agency of the USDA Rural Development. Refer to the list below for some of the most common programs offered by the said government branch.

Rural Housing Service

Single-Family Housing Direct Home Loans:  Also known as the Section 502 Direct Loan  Program that assists low-income families to access a decent, safe, and comfortable housing unit through loans.

Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program: Also known as the Section 502  Guaranteed Loan Program that allows lenders to provide loans for low-income individuals to purchase or renovate a housing unit.

Housing Preservation Grant Program: This program allows organizations to sponsor low-income individuals to repair and improve their housing units.

Multifamily Housing Rental Assistance: This program provides assistance upon paying rents of low-income individuals under the Farm Labor Housing or Rural Rental Housing projects.

Rural Utilities Service

Water and Environmental Programs (WEP): This initiative provides loans, grants, and loan guarantees for rural communities to improve their sanitary sewer, drinking water, solid waste, and storm drainage facilities.

Electric Programs: This initiative provides assistance for infrastructure in rural areas to maintain the stability of electrical functions.

Telecommunications Programs: This program improves communication in rural  America by providing funds for the rural telecommunications infrastructure deployment.

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Agriculture Innovation Center Program: This program provides funds for the Agriculture Innovation Center that can help the rural farmers to develop their respective farm operations.

Business & Industry Loan Guarantees: This program provides loans for businesses in rural areas.

Rural Business Development Grants: This program provides technical assistance to improve small businesses in rural areas.

The information above are just the highlights of each program, you can see the detailed information for each program within the website of the USDA Rural Development. Individuals need to know the benefits, eligibility rules, and application process for each program and other initiatives.

How to Get Information

For questions, information, and application for the program of USDA Rural  Development, you may contact them or visit their respective office. Check their official website https://www.rd.usda.gov/ to learn more.

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