Rural development grants awarded

Staff writer

U.S. Department of Agriculture Ohio Rural Development State Director David L. Hall announced two Ohio-based sponsoring organizations will receive more than $303,000 in Rural Community Development Initiative grant funds to bolster rural housing, community programs, and economic development.
“The RCDI grant provides taproot-level funding to organizations so they can boost educational and technical training activities for sub-grantees that support rural places and people,” said Hall. “This is a value-added initiative because it encourages a ‘train-the-trainer’ concept, which continues to enhance capacity well beyond the lifespan of the original grant itself.
In Ohio, Wood County-based Bowling Green State University’s Center for Regional Development will use its $53,108 grant to provide technical assistance to the Maumee Valley Planning Organization.
Efforts the grant will support include training contractors on lead abatement practices, with the goal of increasing access to affordable housing; creating a rural broadband enhancement and deployment strategy, and helping develop applications for the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Loan and Grant program, along with other business and rural economic development programs available to MVPO customers.
The Sandusky County-based Great Lakes Community Action Partnership will use its $250,000 grant to provide technical assistance to 17 recipients in four states: Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The training provided will focus on how to use, maintain, and share Geographic Information System data, with the goal of building capacity and sustainability in rural utilities systems.
RCDI grants may be awarded in eligible rural areas to non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally-recognized Tribes in support of rural housing, community facilities, and economic development projects. Eligible areas include cities, towns, and rural regions with populations fewer than 50,000.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.
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