HUD awards $219,983 for affordable housing and economic development in rural Wyoming

CASPER, September 10, 2007 – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today awarded $219,983 to a rural housing program in Wyoming to stimulate economic development, create jobs and produce more affordable housing. The funding is part of $16.8 million in grants provided through HUD’s Rural Housing and Economic Development Program nationwide.

In addition to the HUD grant announced today, rural communities are expected to generate more than $110,000 from other public and private sources to promote economic development and employment.

“These grants will go a long way toward producing more affordable housing in rural communities across our country,” said Jackson. “HUD funding, and the private investment these grants will generate, will offer more than just an affordable home to working families in rural areas. These grants will trigger economic development and breathe new life into rural neighborhoods that are desperate to grow.”

Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) grants help pay for land acquisition, new home construction, housing demolition, infrastructure improvements and construction training. Other possible uses include homeownership and financial counseling; financial assistance to homeowners, businesses and developers; creating microenterprises and small business incubators; and establishing lines of credit or revolving loan pools to benefit the local business community.

Qualified applicants are local rural nonprofit organizations, community development corporations, federally recognized Indian tribes, State housing finance agencies and/or local economic development agencies. RHED grants have provided nearly $190 million, creating more than 12,000 jobs, assisting nearly 8,200 businesses and producing nearly 20,000 affordable homes.

Rural communities will use this funding as seed money to pay the start-up costs for housing or economic development projects. These grants will also help organizations to hire and train their staffs, develop strategic plans and acquire office space and other needed facilities.

HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.

In the State of Wyoming, The Wind River Development Fund will receive the grant to assist in creating 45 jobs, establishing 5 new businesses, and creating a business incubator. Partners for this project are the Wyoming Business Council, The Wind River Development Fund, and Rural Community Innovation, Inc.

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