A $20 million grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development will be the basis for long-term low-interest loans for key facilities and services improvements in rural and tribal communities.
“This is great news for communities on the Peninsula,” Congressman Derek Kilmer said in a statement Oct. 6. “These investments will help local leaders do everything from keep the lights on at a center that supports youth sports, to improve roads through town, to support child care services that families rely on.”
The grant was awarded to Craft3, a Northwest-based nonprofit community development financial institution that lends to businesses and nonprofits throughout Oregon and Washington with projects aimed at improving their communities.
Projects that may qualify for the loans are those involving health care facilities, public facilities, road improvements, community centers, fairgrounds, public safety services like police and fire, museums and libraries, utility services including telemedicine and distance learning, and local food systems like food banks and community kitchens and gardens, and more.
Loan terms may be as many as 40 years, with an interest rate fixed for the duration of the loan by Rural Development. The amount financed ranges from 15 to 75 percent depending on the project. Priority is given to applicants in communities with a population less than 5,500, but towns and tribal lands with up to 20,000 residents can also qualify.
Craft3 has also been awarded a $2 million companion grant from the Northwest Area Foundation, which funds similar projects in eight western state and the region’s tribal lands.
“Northwest Area Foundation is pleased to provide a $2 million companion grant to Craft3 through our partnership with the Uplift America Fund to support the delivery of USDA Community Facilities Loans to underserved rural communities across Oregon and Washington, particularly in Northwest Indian Country,” said Karla Miller, Program Director at Northwest Area Foundation.
For information on qualifying projects and applying for a loan, interested communities and organizations can contact Craft3 Manager of Special Projects Mike Dickerson at email@example.com or (888) 231-2170 ext. 143.