Loan Fund Our loan fund closed 69 loans that totaled more than $25 million. Of those loans, 27 were to individual homeown- ers whose wells had failed as a result of California’s drought. The balance of the loans supported housing development, environmental infrastructure, community facilities and small businesses, which retained or created 384 jobs. Community and Economic Development The Building Rural Economies Program added four new local partners this past year, bringing the total to 22 com- munities served. To date these partners have achieved exciting results: created 24 new businesses, expanded nine existing businesses, created 17 new jobs, accessed more than $300,000 in grant funds, and generated $2.5 million new revenue. This report features three stories that reflect on the value of rural communities and the dedicated people who live and work there. They highlight community leaders who brought their skills and expertise to work in their home- towns, or towns they now call home, to help them to become vibrant, healthy and enduring places to live. We’re proud of our commitment to rural communities and grateful for our funders’continued and generous support. Sincerely, Stanley Keasling, CEO We also trained more than 400 housing staff in housing counseling, loan packaging and housing development. We launched the Utah Capacity Building Collaborative, a con- centrated two-year initiative to increase four local partners’ capacity to develop housing. The agencies receive direct operating support coupled with technical assistance and training. Environmental We worked with 585 communities to help them maintain compliance with regulations, build capacity and access more than $48 million in project funding. We completed rate studies for 23 communities, which helped them raise $1.9 million in additional revenue. We completed 34 household income surveys to help communities establish eligibility for more advantageous financing. We worked with 110 households to ensure that their individual wells produce safe and reliable drinking water. We installed an additional 158 water bottle filling stations, bringing the total to 190 during the course of the Agua4All program, and 127 point-of-use arsenic treatment filters in schools to give students better access to safe drinking water. In Arvin, California alone, students consumed more than 100,000 gallons of safe drinking water between June 2015 and November 2016. We trained more than 4,800 participants from Tribal, small municipal and nonprofit water and wastewater systems to achieve compliance with the Safe Drinking Water and Clean Water acts. Our online and in-person training includes the whole range of technical, managerial and financial issues that affect rural systems.