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CDFA Rural Development Finance Update - September 21, 2021

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Rural Development Finance Update
September 21, 2021
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Rural Development Finance Update

Features

USDA Launches Resource Guide to Help Rural Communities Seeking Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Assistance
USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson unveiled a resource guide as part of National Preparedness Month to help rural communities seeking disaster resiliency and recovery assistance. This guide follows the Biden-Harris Administration's announcement of the American Jobs Plan, which targets investments to support infrastructure in communities that are most physically and financially vulnerable to climate-driven disasters.

USDA Invests $464M in Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Help Rural Communities, Businesses, and Ag Producers Build Back Better
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers, and businesses lower energy costs. USDA is financing $129 million of these investments through the Rural Energy for America Program. USDA financing the other $335 million of these investments through the Electric Loan Program.

USDA Has Invested $1.2B in Rural Businesses in 2021
USDA Rural Development announced that USDA is on track to provide a record level of support for rural working capital and other business capital needs in fiscal year 2021. The Department has invested $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses in 41 states. These investments – made through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and the Business and Industry CARES Act Program – are expected to create or save more than 12,000 jobs for people in rural areas.

Farmer Mac Announces Strategic Acquisition and Expansion of Loan Servicing Function
The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac), the nation's secondary market provider that increases the availability and affordability of credit for the benefit of rural America, announced that it is enhancing its operations by expanding its internal loan servicing function. To further bolster these capabilities, the company has purchased the loan servicing rights for a portion of its Farm & Ranch and USDA Guaranteed loan portfolios through a strategic acquisition.

Northern Maine Heats Up With a Forward-Looking Economic Development Plan
Northern Maine's long-term economic viability has always had a vulnerable side, with the ever-changing situation with logging and paper mills, but it took on new importance during the pandemic. That's why the Eastern Maine Development Corp.'s recently released five-year plan has added meaning.

CERB Invests More than $10M in Rural Broadband Projects
The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) yesterday approved $8,272,040 million in grants and $1,975,000 in low-interest loans for planning, economic development, and rural broadband infrastructure construction projects. Five rural broadband projects were approved for nearly $8 million in funding from the CERB coronavirus capital projects fund.

Funding Included to Restore Forests, Create Jobs in Build Back Better Act
Sen. Michael Bennet has proposed legislation that would make the meaningful investments needed in our forests, rangelands, and watersheds by encouraging partnerships between federal, state, and tribal agencies. The House just put it into the budget reconciliation bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, providing $40 billion to restore our forests, improve wildlife habitat, while creating millions of good-paying jobs in rural areas.

How a Colorado Coal Plant Could Become a Massive Battery for Renewable Energy
A coal-fired power plant owned by Xcel Energy in Hayden, Colorado accounts for more than half the property tax base and is a reliable source of high-paying jobs in a town with rapidly increasing housing prices. The town could soon test a new idea to meet its climate goals without losing the economic benefits of the plant. Rather than raze the building, the project would transform the power plant into a massive battery to bank electricity generated by renewable energy.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Virtual National Summit

Intro Tax Credit Finance WebCourse
September 29-30, 2021 - Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Tax Credit Finance WebCourse examines the application of tax credit programs in greater economic development finance efforts. This course discusses the practical application of tax credit programs including brownfields, new markets, low-income housing, historic preservation, and state-specific programs.

CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Debunking Risk in Food System Finance
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern
In this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will break down the real and perceived risks of lending and discuss a variety of affordable financing solutions that are being employed by development finance agencies to invest in local food-related businesses and projects.

USDA Rural Development News

New USDA Program to Provide Loans for Precision Agriculture Technology
U.S. Senators Deb Fischer and Amy Klobuchar introduced the Precision Agriculture Loan (PAL) Act. The bipartisan legislation would create a program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide loan financing to farmers and ranchers interested in purchasing precision agriculture equipment.

Rural Businesses Could Receive Six Months of Loan Forgiveness
Rural small businesses and other entities with loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture could receive six months of loan forgiveness under legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. These entities would be eligible for principal, interest, and fee payment forgiveness. If passed, this would be the first time these rural small businesses receive support.

USDA Seeks Comments on Farm Bill Changes to Help Expand Access to Capital for Rural Broadband Infrastructure Deployment
Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced that USDA is seeking public comment on a direct final rule to help expand access to capital to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural areas. The changes apply to USDA's Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Loan Guarantees program and are in accordance with the provisions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill).

USDA Seeks Applications to Spur Job and Economic Growth in Rural Areas
United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development announced that the department is accepting loan and grant applications for projects that create jobs and economic growth in rural communities.

Sen. Booker Sees Budget Reconciliation Advancing Debt Relief for Farmers of Color
The $4 billion debt relief program passed in March as part of the American Rescue Plan Act and would pay off USDA loans held by 16,000 "socially disadvantaged" farmers, a category used by USDA to describe Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Hispanic and Latino farmers. But white farmers have filed at least 13 lawsuits against the program, including one class action, alleging it is racially discriminatory.

Caribou, ME Rural-Living Nonprofit Gets $260K from USDA
A nonprofit in Caribou that provides social, economic, and cultural services has received $260,000 in funds to support the development of its women's and men's substance abuse recovery homes. The Center for the Advancement of Rural Living received a community facilities loan of $210,000 and a grant of $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural development program.

USDA Rural Development Invests $1.07M in Community Wastewater Solution in Vermont
The USDA announced $1,079,000 in funding for the Addison County Community Trust to install a septic system in the Lindale Mobile Home Park in Middlebury, Vermont. The investment is packaged as a $203,000 loan and $876,000 grant through Rural Development's Water and Waste Disposal Loan & Grant program.


Rural Development Finance News

Government Investment in Farmer-Led Catchment Groups Passes 150 Mark
Rural News | Sep. 15 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Rural Development

New Fund to Support Black Farmers in Washtenaw County and Beyond
CLICKONDETROIT | Sep. 14 | Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Crowdfunding | Rural Development

Internet Financing Rules May Prioritize Rural Areas Over Cities
Pennsylvania News Today | Sep. 13 | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development

United Bank Community Development Awarded $65M in NMTC Allocation
The Atmore Advance | Sep. 10 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Economic Development | Rural Development | Tax Credits

Solutions and Struggle: COVID Relief Highlights Complexity of Issues Facing Native People
The Daily Yonder | Sep. 1 | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development | Tribal Finance | COVID-19

Rose Associates Lands $182M Loan for White Plains, NY Multifamily Project
The Real Deal | Aug. 25 | Bond Finance | Housing Finance | Incentives | Redevelopment | Rural Development | Tax Credits

Oconee County, GA Approves Agreements To Bring Costco To Epps Bridge Centre
Oconee County Observations | Aug. 25 | Bond Finance | Rural Development

Ames, IA Public Hearing Set Ahead of $21.2M Bond Approval to Fund Aquatics Center
Ames Tribune | Aug. 25 | Bond Finance | Rural Development

City Council Approves Bond Program to Revitalize Downtown Edinburg, TX
Texas Border Business | Aug. 25 | Bond Finance | Redevelopment | Rural Development

How the Infrastructure Bill Will Enable More Sustainable Farming
GreenBiz | Aug. 20 | Agriculture Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Legislative | Rural Development

Park City, UT School Board Plan $79M Bond For November
KPCW | Aug. 20 | Bond Finance | Education | Rural Development

CARES Funding for Rural Assisted Living Gets Protections Within Infrastructure Bill
The Daily Yonder | Aug. 18 | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | Healthcare | Legislative | Rural Development | Social Finance | COVID-19

CDFA Resources

Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Resources: A Guide for Rural Communities
Disaster Recovery & Relief | Rural Development
USDA Rural Development (RD) developed this guide as a resource for rural communities seeking disaster resiliency and recovery assistance. The recent National Climate Assessment (NCA) identifies that more frequent and extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities.

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: The Federal Role in Financing Broadband
Infrastructure Finance | Public-Private Partnership (P3) Financing | Rural Development | Urban Development | Webcasts | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Education Finance | Innovation Finance | Social Finance | Tribal Finance
During this installment of the CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series, experts discussed federal broadband funding from the USDA and NTIA, as well as how to craft local policies and partner with anchor institutions to fund fiber broadband networks.

CDFA-TEDC Webinar: Driving Investment into Texas' Rural Opportunity Zones
Opportunity Zones | Rural Development | Webcasts
During this webinar, expert panelists provided best practices and tips for economic development practitioners on driving investments into rural Opportunity Zones in Texas.

Broadband Interactive Federal Funding Guide for 2021
Access to Capital | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Education Finance | Energy Finance | Green Finance | Healthcare | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Innovation Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Social Finance | Tribal Finance | Urban Development | Water Finance
This Interactive Guide from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provides an interactive, step-by-step approach for users to filter through more than 90 broadband related programs compiled from 12 federal agencies and the FCC. It highlights general information about each program, including program descriptions, important dates, contact information, and links to program websites.

CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series: Best Practices for Rural Development Finance Agencies
Rural Development | Webcasts
During the third installment of the CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series, we discovered best practices of development finance agencies to help you identify the right partner for your projects.

Community Investment Explorer Tool 2.0
Access to Capital | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Foundations | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development | Social Finance | Tax Credits | Urban Development
Developed by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the newly enhanced Community Investment Explorer (CIE) 2.0 includes over 73 million transactions totaling over $3.2 trillion in community and economic development capital from 2012 to 2020. This interactive tool allows users to find out where capital is going, how equitably is it being distributed, and for what purpose is it serving.

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Investing in Critical Community Facilities
Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Education Finance | Green Finance | Healthcare | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Tribal Finance | Webcasts
During this installment of the CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series, top officials from the EDA and USDA discussed their new financing solutions for local community facilities and how to coordinate with partners. Programs discussed included the EDA's American Rescue Plan programs and the USDA's Emergency Rural Healthcare Grant program.

From Wealthy Enclaves to Asset Deserts: What the Geography of Asset Income Signals About Wealth Distribution in the U.S.
Access to Capital | Community Development | Economic Development | Rural Development | Social Finance | Urban Development
This EIG report, interactive map, and case studies illustrate increasing wealth concentration in the U.S. and the urgency of forging new pathways that allow more Americans to have a substantial ownership stake in the wealth created by the U.S. economy. The report finds that income from assets has skyrocketed in centers of finance, technology, mining, or recreation while stagnating in many distressed communities.


The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation's leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing public, private and non-profit entities alike. For more information, visit www.CDFA.net or email info@cdfa.net.


Council of Development Finance Agencies
100 E. Broad Street, Suite 1200
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 705-1300
info@cdfa.net

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