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USDA seeks applicants for loans, grants to provide farm labor housing

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By The Staff

 Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced Tuesday that USDA is seeking applications for loans and grants to build new farm labor housing projects or to purchase and rehabilitate non-RD property for farm labor housing.

 The funding is being provided through USDA’s Farm Labor Housing loans and grants programs.

Eligible applicants include farmers, associations of farmers and family farm corporations, associations of farmworkers and nonprofit organizations, most state and local governmental entities, and federally recognized Indian tribes.  

The maximum award per project is $3 million. 

USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the report to President Donald Trump from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to help improve life in rural America. 

Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation. Key strategies include achieving e-connectivity for rural America, developing the rural economy, harnessing technological innovation, supporting a rural workforce, and improving quality of life.

To leverage investments in rural property, USDA Rural Development also encourages projects located in rural Opportunity Zones, where projects should provide measurable results in helping communities build robust and sustainable economies. An Opportunity Zone is an economically distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. 

For more eligibility information, see page 32404 of the July 8, 2019, Federal Register. Applications are due by 5 p.m. local time on Aug. 30, at the Rural Development state office where the project will be located. For a list of offices, visit the state office website.