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CDFA Rural Development Finance Update - April 20, 2021

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Rural Development Finance Update
April 20, 2021
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Rural Development Finance Update

Features

CDFA Accepting Applications for the Community Facilities Technical Assistance Program
With funding from USDA Rural Development, CDFA has the opportunity to provide targeted technical assistance to utilize the USDA Community Facilities Program along with other development finance tools for six rural communities that have recently experienced a natural disaster. Eligible communities must have a population of no more than 20,000 and have a Major Disaster Declaration from FEMA for hurricanes or wildfires in 2018 or floods or tornadoes in 2019. Apply today!

Michigan's Rural Water Systems Confront Generations of Inadequate Investment
Building, maintaining, and operating a water and sewer system is generally the most expensive item on a small town's budget. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Water and Waste Disposal Program is a lifeline for rural communities, providing Michigan towns with $963.8 million in loans and $307.1 million in grants between 2008 and 2020. It's an expensive challenge that resists solutions. New legislation approved in Washington could help by awarding additional grants to rural towns.

The New ‘Rural'? The Implications of OMB's Proposal to Redefine Nonmetro America
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced in the Federal Register it would change the minimum core population for metropolitan statistical areas from 50,000 to 100,000 significantly changing the character of nonmetro counties and impacting policy and funding. At a time when government is focused on COVID-19 relief, economic recovery, infrastructure, and racial equity, small rural areas may be forced to compete with better-situated newcomers for federal funding.

Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Introduced in House, Senate
A bipartisan group of legislators introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021 in both chambers of Congress. Novogradac estimates the primary unit financing provisions of the bill could finance as much as 2 million additional affordable rental homes in urban and rural areas over 10 years.

Biden Administration Request Gives Boost to Agriculture Budget
The Biden Administration's discretionary budget request gave agriculture a big step up in funding, a 16% increase from the 2021 enacted level. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, stated that the discretionary budget would expand broadband access, provide more funds for agricultural research, provide more money for forest management, and increase the funding for the SNAP and WIC.

President Biden Unveils Massive Infrastructure Plan
President Biden's roughly $2 trillion plan aims to improve U.S. infrastructure and shift to greener energy over the next eight years. The infrastructure spending plan is the first of a two-part proposal to help the nation's economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The President is expected to unveil his package focusing on the "care economy," including investments in education and child care, in coming weeks.

Rural New Jersey Hospital Receives $88M USDA Community Facilities Loan
An announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture approving an $88.2 million loan to Deborah Heart and Lung Center will provide the hospital the final piece of funding needed for a planned $100 million capital improvement project. The USDA loan is funded through its Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program and will be used to upgrade Deborah's in-patient rooms, pay for the construction of a new in-patient tower, and provide other improvements.

Legislation Introduced to Incentivize Capital Investments in Rural Businesses
U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) introduced the Rural Capital Access Act, legislation that would incentivize additional capital investments in rural America by improving the Small Business Investment Company's ability to invest in rural businesses and encouraging greater participation in the Rural Business Investment Company program.

Upcoming Events
Intro Opportunity Zones Finance WebCourse

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Federal Programs for Affordable Housing Investment
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series, experts will cover how development finance agencies can leverage financing from the federal government to support housing projects in their communities.

CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series: Assembling Capital for Rural Development
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern
During the second installment of the CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series, learn about essential financing sources employed by rural communities to complete projects in today's economy.

USDA Rural Development News

USDA Invests $598M to Improve and Modernize Rural Electric Infrastructure
The USDA announced a $598 million rural electric loan package to build or improve electric infrastructure in 11 states. This funding will benefit 460,000 rural residents and businesses in Arizona, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. Several of the loans will help expand smart grid technologies, which can be a catalyst for broadband and other telecommunications services.

USDA Invests $266M to Improve Rural Community Facilities and Essential Services
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announced that USDA is investing $266 million to build and improve critical community facilities to benefit nearly 3 million rural residents in 16 states and Puerto Rico. This funding includes $156 million to support health-care-related improvements and emergency response services that will benefit nearly 1 million rural residents in nine states and Puerto Rico.

NIFA Invests Over $14.3M for Ag Workforce Training and Rural Economic Development
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently awarded $9.44 million in funding for 19 Agricultural Workforce Training grants and 12 awards totaling $4.88 million for rural economic development projects. These grants are part of NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Big Increases for Rural Power, WIC, Ag Research in Biden Proposal
Most of the increased spending proposed by President Biden for USDA's so-called discretionary accounts would go to three things: Rural electricity, WIC, and agricultural research. If approved by Congress, the money would accelerate the shift to cleaner electricity, help low-income families put food on the table, and, as part of climate mitigation, find ways to verify carbon sequestration and greenhouse-gas reduction on the farm.

USDA Seeks Applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it is accepting applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program grants to help provide educational and medical services in rural areas.

USDA Increases Funding Limits for the Revolving Fund Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is doubling the funding limit for loans financed under the Revolving Fund Program to support water and wastewater infrastructure projects in rural America. The maximum loan amount will now be $200,000 up from the previous loan limit, which was $100,000. This change will help expand access to safe, reliable drinking water, and sanitary sewage treatment for households in rural communities.

USDA Seeks Input to Create a New Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it is requesting public input from interested parties, including potential customers and interested stakeholders, to help create a new Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 provided $10 million to USDA to develop a pilot program that provides financial assistance to rural communities to further develop renewable energy.

$235M Rural Development Loan Will Improve Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and Arizona Congressman Tom O'Halleran applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's decision to award the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority a $235 million Rural Development loan for critical improvements to utility services on the Navajo Nation.


Rural Development Finance News

North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority Approves Over $3.7M in Funding
Rockingham Now | Apr. 18 | Economic Development | Rural Development | State Finance Program

Looking at Rural Workforce Housing in Columbus, NE
The Columbus Telegram | Apr. 17 | Economic Development | Housing Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Tax Credits | Tax Increment Finance (TIF)

CEI Capital Management Announces $1.49M NMTC Support for Saddleback Mountain
Daily Bulldog | Apr. 14 | Access to Capital | Economic Development | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Tax Credits

A City's Only Hospital Cut Services. How Locals Fought Back.
The Wall Street Journal | Apr. 11 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Healthcare | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development

Legislation Introduced to Support Transit in Smaller Communities
Transportation Today | Apr. 9 | Infrastructure Finance | Legislative | Rural Development

Agriculture Omnibus Bill Funds Broadband, Helps Rural Minnesotans
KXRA | Apr. 7 | Agriculture Finance | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development | State Finance Program | COVID-19

Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act Reintroduced to Strengthen Incentive, Aid in Economic Recovery
Novogradac | Apr. 1 | Economic Development | Historic Preservation | Redevelopment | Rural Development | Tax Credits

Ohio Rail Development Commission Approves $100K Grant Funding to M&M Industries
Construction Equipment Guide | Mar. 31 | Brownfield Financing | Economic Development | Redevelopment | Rural Development | Case Studies

Indiana Rural Opportunity Zone Initiative Selects Six Communities
Daily News | Mar. 26 | Opportunity Zones | Rural Development | State Finance Program

Rural Virginia Facilities Get Over $2.3M in Funding
WFXR | Mar. 25 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development

Colorado Main Street Launches Heritage Energy Project
Colorado Main Street | Mar. 25 | Energy Finance | Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) | Rural Development | Tax Credits

Vermont House Endorses $150M Broadband Bill
Bennington Banner | Mar. 23 | Infrastructure Finance | Legislative | Member News | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Broadband

South Carolina Gets $314M Ag-Tech Center for Multiple Users
Ag Web | Mar. 23 | Agriculture Finance | Economic Development | Food Systems Finance | Opportunity Zones | Rural Development

Legislation Introduced to Expand Access to Affordable Credit for Farmers
Hoosier Ag Today | Mar. 18 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Legislative | Rural Development

New Revolving Loan Funds in Kansas to Aid Small Rural Business Recovery
The Miami County Republic | Mar. 17 | Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | COVID-19

Everything Cities Need to Know About COVID Relief
National League of Cities | Mar. 17 | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Rural Development | COVID-19

CDFA Resources

Summary of State and Local Funding Sources in the American Rescue Plan
Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Brownfield Financing | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Education | Energy Finance | Food Systems Finance | Healthcare | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Social Finance | Urban Development
This table includes all the federal-to-local funding streams in the American Rescue Plan that reach cities and their residents. It does not include appropriations to Tribal Governments or Agency appropriations focused on program operations at the federal level with no further sub-allocation. It is a dynamic summary to be paired with the Federal Investment Guide produced by Accelerator for America, Drexel University, and the US Conference of Mayors.

American Rescue Plan: Federal Investment Guide
Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Brownfield Financing | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Education | Energy Finance | Food Systems Finance | Healthcare | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Social Finance | Urban Development
This report from Drexel University's Nowak Metro Finance Lab provides a guide to federal funding in the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The authors place a special emphasis on formula funds received by local anchors, competitive grants, and funds distributed to public authorities that city leadership can leverage to boost their recovery. They clarify which entities are responsible for applying for grant funds, when funding expires, and what role city and county leadership can play even when they will not be the primary applicant for funds.

CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series: Financing Disaster Resiliency in Rural Communities
Access to Capital | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development | Webcasts
During the first installment of the CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series, hear about a new technical assistance program from CDFA designed to support rural communities that have recently experienced a natural disaster. Experts discussed the variety of financing tools available from federal, state, and local sources to encourage investment resilient infrastructure.

Vermont Agriculture and Food Systems Strategic Plan 2021-2030
Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Economic Development | Food Systems Finance | Rural Development
The Plan estimates that additional public and philanthropic investment is needed over the next ten years: approximately $9.7 million in one-time funding and $23.3 million in recurring funding. This level of funding will ensure sufficient land access and conservation, climate resilience, food security, infrastructure investments, regional market development, and workforce development to meet the growing needs of the sector. Public and philanthropic funding will also stimulate additional private sector investment.

Legislative Analysis for Counties: American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Legislative | Rural Development
As part of the American Rescue Plan's $362 billion in federal fiscal recovery aid for state and local governments, $65.1 billion is provided in direct aid to counties and an additional $1.5 billion for public land counties. This analysis by the National Association of Counties highlights key provisions for county governments.


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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