|HUD Region V No. 11-110
Laura J. Feldman
August 23, 2011
HUD AWARDS $300,000 GRANT TO PROMOTE AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN MINNESOTA RURAL COMMUNITY
Grants for rural and tribal communities to address housing, poverty and jobs
CHICAGO - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $300,000 to the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation in Detroit Lakes, Minn., to provide business financing to redevelop an abandoned commercial facility for the production of biomass heating pellets. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the grants from HUD's new Rural Innovation Fund promote an "entrepreneurial approach" to affordable housing and economic development in rural areas.
"Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities," said Secretary Donovan. "Because there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to strengthening rural communities, this funding provides flexible resources to address either housing or economic development needs, or both. This is especially important for communities that may have more limited access to resources because of their distant locations. These are catalytic projects that will have an impact on their communities for generations to come."
"This grant will stimulate economic growth and create jobs while providing affordable, energy-efficient homes for rural Minnesota families in distress," said Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator.
These grants challenged localities to come up with innovative solutions to their problems - and the winners delivered. For instance, Youthbuild McLean County in Normal Ill., will receive a Rural Innovation Fund Single Purpose grant in the amount of $300,000 to address the need for safe, sustainable, affordable housing in Carlock, Ill. The plan includes developing a 57-acre, mixed-income subdivision through self-help (sweat equity). Eight affordable, energy efficient homes will be built and three dilapidated homes will be rebuilt as safe, green, affordable housing, creating jobs along the way
HUD's new Rural Innovation Fund offers grants of up to $2 million to support innovative housing and economic development activities in 19 states throughout the country. HUD received 307 applications from 48 states for over $236 million, almost 10 times the amount available. Eligible applicants were federally recognized Indian tribes, state housing finance agencies (HFAs), state community development agencies, local rural non-profit organizations, community development corporations, or consortia of these groups. Grantees can use their grant funding to support a variety of housing and economic development activities including construction, preparation of plans, land acquisition, demolition, homeownership counseling, and financial assistance.
HUD awarded Rural Innovation Fund grants in three categories nationwide:
- Comprehensive Grants - 7 Comprehensive grants nationwide, in which grantees have examined the social, housing and economic needs and resources of their target areas and made proposals that address these needs through activities that will have sustained benefit and resources after HUD assistance is used. The maximum grant amount was $2,000,000 for this category.
- Single Purpose Grants - 31 Single Purpose grants nationwide, for more targeted initiatives, which typically focus primarily on either housing or economic development. The maximum award amount was $300,000 for this category. Minnesota received one single purpose grant.
- Economic Development and Entrepreneurship for Federally Recognized Tribes - 8 Indian Economic Development and Entrepreneurship grants nationwide, awarded from $5 million set aside for applications for federally recognized Indian tribes. The maximum award amount was $800,000 for this category.
Highlights of the Awards nationwide include:
- 19 states are represented among the service areas, including Minnesota.
- 27 awardees - over half - are tribes or tribal affiliates nationwide. Tribal organizations were competitive in all categories under the NOFA.
- 789 housing units are proposed for low income beneficiaries nationwide.
- 655 total jobs will be created through activities assisted by the grants nationwide. Jobs include 178 construction jobs and 460 permanent jobs nationwide.
- Grantees have proposed to leverage over $18 million in other funds for their respective projects.
Visit HUD's website to read complete summaries for each grant announce today nationwide.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.