November 1, 2018 – On October 30th, more than 100 nonprofit leaders, elected officials, public agency staff, realtors,lenders, mortgage brokers, and potential homebuyers gathered at the Veterans Memorial Building in Grass Valley for a Nonprofit and Housing Resources workshop. The event, co-hosted by the County of Nevada and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, focused on the Community Facilities Loan and Grant program, as well as several Single Family Rural Housing Loan and Grant programs.

Participants learned that the Community Facilities Loan and Grant program provides funding for nonprofits, public agencies, and federally recognized tribes seeking to implement essential facilities and services within their community. Attendees from a diverse cross section of the nonprofit community brought concepts to Rural Development staff, asked questions, and received feedback on a number of prospective projects. USDA staff discussed how direct and guaranteed loans, as well as cost-sharing grants, have been utilized in the past for a variety of uses including: food hubs, health clinics, community centers, vehicles, equipment, libraries, museums, animal shelters, youth centers, senior centers, and assisted living.

“Supporting affordable housing is a top priority for the Board of Supervisors,” said District 3 Supervisor Dan Miller as he set the context for the workshop. “Our goal in co-hosting this workshop with USDA Rural Development is to raise awareness about this programming and connect individuals,organizations, and home builders to crucial funding.”

In addition, USDA staff presented eight Single Family Housing Grant and Loan programs. Audience members learned that the USDA administers grants to assist low-income families with home repair or rehabilitation to remove health and safety hazards, as well as provide self-help technical assistance to support construction of new housing. Funding is also available to build affordable rental housing for farmworkers.

Golden State Finance Authority (GFSA) Deputy Director, Craig Ferguson, spoke to a recently launched program in partnership with USDA which benefits rural homebuyers in California. He let attendees know that individuals or families purchasing a primary residence with a USDA Rural Development Single Family Loan Guarantee through the GFSA Platinum Program are eligible for assistance of up to four percent in the form of a non-repayable gift. Funds from the gift may be used for closing costs and/ or principal reduction. USDA Rural Development’s mission is to help improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Kim Dolbow Vann, who was appointed as California State Director for USDA Rural Development nearly one year ago explained, “As a former Supervisor in Colusa County, I have an intimate understanding of the challenges California’s rural communities face. My team and I are dedicated to working with Nevada County to develop strategic partnerships to address your local needs and increase access to available USDA funding.”

On average each year, USDA Rural Development invests $1 billion to California’s rural communities. Through more than 40 programs, the agency helps create jobs and support economic development, strengthen essential services such as housing, healthcare, and public safety, as well as increase infrastructure for utilities such as water, electric and communications.