Here at USDA, we know that having strong rural communities is critical to ensuring that rural America remains a viable place for families to call home. That's why, through smart investments and regional partnerships, we continuously work to expand opportunities by fostering the creation of diverse and productive rural economies through everything from home loans to financing for infrastructure and business ventures.
Infrastructure, like homes, buildings, roads and power, is the first step toward prosperity and growth in any community. For small rural communities, however, large-scale infrastructure development can be challenging. Small towns have more limited resources and a smaller tax base that can make access to credit difficult. Fortunately, USDA Rural Development can help. We are proud to partner with rural communities across America to provide affordable financing for these essentials, including financing to bring high speed broadband, including remote, poor and under-served areas. Additionally, we provide loans, grants and technical assistance for water systems, wastewater systems, essential community facilities like schools and hospitals, small business start-up or expansion.
Rural Development also finances a variety of housing options for people living in rural places — whether they’re just starting out in life, growing their family, want the convenience of apartment-style rental housing, or are in need of daily living assistance and care during their golden years — our programs help rural Americans find the resources they need to find adequate housing for themselves and their families.
By the numbers: since 2009, Rural Development has helped about 89,000 rural small businesses grow, creating or saving more than 420,000 jobs, and has invested in more than 6,600 critical community projects including hospitals, libraries, schools, and public safety facilities. Rural Development has helped more than 900,000 rural families buy, repair or refinance a home, and provided funding for more than 3,000 multi-family housing complexes. We have also invested in new and improved broadband service to nearly 1.5 million rural residents, which expands access to state-of-the-art health care, educational and cultural resources, and provides the opportunity for local businesses to compete in the global economy. Additionally, we have helped modernize rural electric infrastructure for about 8.5 million rural residents and businesses, and provided grants and loans for water and waste-water projects to help safeguard the health of approximately 14.5 million rural residents.
At USDA Rural Development, many of our employees live and work in the same rural communities alongside our rural customers and stakeholder and partner organizations. By investing in rural places, we are helping communities position themselves for future, long-term sustainable growth and even helping to tackle ongoing social concerns like health or safety risks and outmigration. We have the tools to help you and your community succeed.
Rural Development is dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural America and helping rural people from all walks of life thrive. To learn more about how our agency may assist you, please contact your nearest local USDA Rural Development office, or follow along this week using the hashtag #HealthierNextGen.