USDA to Provide $150 Million to Help Rural Communities Affected by Natural Disasters

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce Lammers recently announced that USDA is making $150 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters. Tennessee Rural Development State Director Jim Tracy announced that there are more than 50 counties eligible for Community Facilities funding, including Lake County.

“It is imperative that our rural communities receive the relief necessary to continue on with everyday life,” Tracy said. “Our agency stands with efforts to implement long-term recovery following natural disasters.”

The $150 million is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019. The grants may be used for relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Michael and Florence; wildfires in 2018; and other natural disasters where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a notice declaring a Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number. View the list of designated communities as of Sept. 8, 2019. Please check the FEMA website for regular updates and names of additional communities that may be added.

Grant applications will be accepted at USDA state offices on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

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