USDA to provide $150 million in help for rural communities affected by natural disasters

Disaster Relief

U.S. Department of Agriculture Missouri State Director Jeff Case highlighted $150 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters such as the recent severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in Missouri. This announcement is in conjunction with an earlier nationwide announcement from USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce Lammers.

“When rural America thrives, all of America thrives,” Lammers said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA stands with the Nation’s rural communities in their long-term recovery following natural disasters.”

The $150 million is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019. The grants may be used for relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Michael and Florence; wildfires in 2018; and other natural disasters where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a notice declaring a Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number.

Currently, Missouri has 70 counties included in declarations: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Barry, Barton, Bates, Bollinger, Buchanan, Caldwell, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Clark, Cole, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, Douglas, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howell, Jackson, Jasper, Knox, Laclede, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Newton, Nodaway, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, Shannon, Shelby, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Sullivan, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Wayne, Webster, and Wright. Please check the FEMA website for regular updates and names of additional communities that may be added.

Grant applications will be accepted at a local USDA Rural Development office on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register (PDF, 303 KB).

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.

Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo or by calling (573) 876-0995.