USDA to provide grants for rural Utah communities

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WASHINGTON DC (ABC4)- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Thursday an $86 million investment to improve equitable access to jobs, business opportunities, education, housing and health care for people who live and work in rural areas in Utah.

The investments are an effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to provide people living in rural areas equal access to infrastructure and other opportunities afforded to people living in urban and suburban areas. 

“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 good jobs, decent housing, clean water and good job opportunities,” Vilsack said. 

There are three projects in rural Utah which are a part of Thursday’s announcement:

  • The Moab, Utah-based Community Rebuilds energy-efficient housing project will receive a $50,000 Housing Preservation Grant to provide financial assistance to low-income households in order to help eliminate health and safety hazards. The grant will go toward electrical repairs, roofing, windows, plumbing, heating systems and more.
  • The Uintah Basin Association of Governments is receiving a $52,245 Housing Preservation Grant. This will provide funding and technical assistance for health and safety repairs for low-income residences. It will also receive an additional $180,000 from the Community Development Block Grant along with $52,245 for rural development.
  • The Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Inter-cultural Exchange (CHOICE Humanitarian) will receive a $250,000 Rural Community Development Initiative Grant to provide training & technical assistance to the Native Builders and the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office. This will provide courses and training to 2,187 Navajo tribal members to help them build safe, sanitary, and viable communities within the Navajo Nation.

Visak also highlighted an additional 218 investment programs from the USDA specifically for 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 Group Grants and Water and Waste Disposal Grants.

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