Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson on Tuesday announced $23.7 million in grants to more than 100 rural communities nationwide to stimulate their local economies, produce more affordable housing, and create jobs.

The grants, provided through HUD’s Rural Housing and Economic Development Program, help pay for land acquisition, new home construction, housing demolition, infrastructure improvements and construction training. Other possible uses include home ownership and financial counseling; financial assistance to homeowners, businesses and developers; creating microenterprises and small-business incubators; and, establishing lines of credit or revolving loan pools to benefit the local business community.

Rural non-profit organizations, federally recognized Native American tribes, community development corporations, and state community and economic development agencies will administer these grants, which were awarded to rural communities in 37 states and Puerto Rico.

“These grants will make a real difference in rural America,” said Jackson. “Whether it’s building new homes or stimulating business activity, this funding will provide a much needed shot in the arm to local communities and to the people who live there.”

HUD is a federal agency that implements housing policy.

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