In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – and ahead of the potentially damaging Hurricane Maria – the United States Department of Agriculture/Rural Development announced on Sept. 19 it is “providing tools and resources to help rural communities recover from the devastation,” according to an official press release.
The release noted that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue highlighted today addressed emergency procedures to provide additional flexibility for Rural Development borrowers and community partners, allowing those most affected to “recover as quickly as possible and ensure they have what they need to rebuild their homes, businesses and communities.”
Secretary Perdue is quoted as saying, “Our team at Rural Development is devoted to supporting rural communities ravaged by the recent hurricanes. We are committed each day to the recovery effort, collaborating with federal, state and local partners to begin to rebuild.”
The release went on to say that USDA Rural Development is providing the recovery assistance “by coordinating with private partners to restore utilities to rural communities in hurricane-affected regions.”
It continued, “Rural Development is helping businesses and utilities that are current USDA borrowers by considering requests to defer principal and/or interest payments, and to provide additional temporary loans. Current USDA single-family home loan customers may also qualify for assistance. Borrowers can contact their local Rural Development office to obtain information on potential assistance. Additional information may be found at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/services/rural-development-disaster-assistance.”
Also, USDA Rural Development is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “which is taking the lead to provide emergency housing for people who need it in these affected areas.”
The release provided the following link to assist in contacting the nearest USDA Rural Development office: https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us.