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Looking Back but Moving Forward, USDA Issues the Annual 2012 Rural Development Progress Report

A new year means a new outlook, a fresh beginning and an opportunity to make the new year better than the last. Here at USDA we are gearing up for all that 2013 has to offer. As we prepare for what may lie ahead, let’s take a look at some of USDA Rural Development’s most memorable accomplishments of 2012.

Check out what made our “Top 8 Accomplishments List”;

  1. In 2012, Rural Development made improving rural residents’ access to quality facilities and infrastructure a priority. We provided more than $1.5 billion in loans and grants to develop or improve essential community facilities such as schools, libraries, day care centers and health clinics.
  2. During the fall of 2012, Rural Development observed “Back to School Week,” which featured investments made in rural colleges nationwide. Education is the great equalizer in an increasingly competitive global economy. Through its Community Facilities Program, USDA provided more than $8.6 million to construct or improve 48 rural libraries in 2012.
  3. Access to proper medical facilities keeps rural residents healthy and prosperous. Rural Development provided more than $888 million for 243 projects to improve the delivery of health care for rural Americans.
  4. Modern infrastructure is key. Under the Rural Utilities Program, USDA Rural Development provided new or improved service to over 8.2 million electric power customers in 1,287 counties. USDA has invested in 5,500 water and wastewater infrastructure projects during the past four years, which have helped safeguard the health of 20 million rural residents.
  5. Rural Development is the lead agency ensuring that rural families have access to safe, well-built, affordable homes. In 2012, RD helped more than 153,000 families obtain safe, affordable homes through USDA’s single-family direct and guaranteed loan programs.
  6. In 2012, Rural Development helped provide safe, affordable multi-family housing to more than 270,000 low- and very-low-income families, thanks to $904.7 million in rental assistance to bring their rents to an affordable level.
  7. Through Rural Development’s  business and cooperative loan and grant programs, the agency helped 9,700 rural small business owners or farmers improve their enterprises in 2012.
  8. Business and cooperative program funding created or saved more than an estimated 53,000 rural jobs in 2012.

USDA Rural Development’s portfolio of loans and loan guarantees grew to more than $176 billion in 2012.

Earlier this week USDA Rural Development issued its annual progress report.  For more information on 2012 accomplishments, view the 2012 Progress Report on our website.

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