Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) was awarded $30 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Facilities Relending Program, part of an innovative new public/private partnership, Uplift America, created to provide targeted financial assistance to areas of greatest need.

RCAC received one of the largest awards and will make the funds available through its Loan Fund to local organizations to finance community facilities in the rural West. Loans may be used for projects including, but not limited to, healthcare and public facilities, colleges, public schools, community centers, and transitional housing and child care centers and to finance community services, such as education, healthcare and infrastructure. RCAC was also awarded $1.3 million Uplift America grant funding, managed by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, to provide capacity building and management assistance. Bank of America will provide credit enhancement on behalf of RCAC to USDA to support the program.

“This program represents a new approach to persistent poverty, which disproportionately impacts rural communities,” said Stanley Keasling, RCAC’s chief executive officer. “We are pleased to be included in the Uplift America program and focused on getting the funding out to communities.”

Uplift America represents a unique collaboration between the USDA, philanthropic foundations that have pooled funds, and private financial institutions that will provide loan guarantees, including Bank of America, and community development institutions. Participating foundations include Bank of America, Ford, Heron, JP Morgan Chase, Mary Reynolds Babcock, Northwest Area and Winthrop Rockefeller.

“This effort builds on our commitment to lifting up the economic prospects of communities that have not benefited from the revitalization of rural America,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a press release. “By engaging with local and national partners, private-sector financial institutions and philanthropic organizations, USDA will inject a game-changing level of investment capital to reduce poverty in targeted rural areas where the capacity for growth has not been realized.”

Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. RCAC serves rural communities in 13 western states and the Pacific islands. Services are available to communities with populations of fewer than 50,000, other nonprofit groups, Tribal organizations, farmworkers, colonias and other specific populations. RCAC provides loans, including small business loans, technical and economic development assistance to rural communities and nonprofit organizations in its service region. To find out more about RCAC’s Loan Fund products, visit http://www.rcac.org/programs-services/

Michael Carroll, director
RCAC Lending & Housing
916/447-9832 ext. 1003
mcarroll@rcac.org