Rural Partners To Debut Its First Forum In Puerto Rico
Rural Partners Network is hosting its first forum in Puerto Rico to improve housing and other things in rural communities.
Rural communities are usually at a disadvantage compared to urban entities when competing for funding and direct access to necessary programs. To overcome this, the Rural Partners Network (RPN) was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (USDA). Rural Partners Network is a government program to help rural communities find resources and funding to create jobs, support economic stability, and build infrastructure.
The first partners network forum was hosted on August 29, 2023, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The partnership involves three rural networks: Central Mountain, Southwest, and East Networks consisting of 15 municipalities. The San Juan Field Office is also assisting the Southwest Signature Project with the Rural Partners Network.
Pastor Benjie Toro of the Southwest Rural Network emphasized the need for home repairs and new construction in the Guánica community. He also stressed the importance of public services and businesses to retain residents and ensure a better future for upcoming generations. The Southwest Rural Network collaborates with communities like Siberia, Arenas, and Esperanza in Guánica, aiming to offer planning, project management, and financial assistance for economic growth and a community land bank strategy.
The first-hand stories, needs, and aspirations were shared by the representatives from the three networks. There were also presentations on programs and opportunities from the HUD, Department of Transportation, and Economic Development Administration (EDA) by a variety of panels. Everyone shared valuable information with non-profit organizations, rural communities, and local government agencies.
Rural Housing Administrator Joaquin Altoro also highlighted that developing housing has become an economic engine in rural communities and small towns. Besides this, he touched upon possibilities of connecting community facilities with workforce housing such as housing for doctors and nurses.
This forum is a step taken by the Rural Partners Network Collaborators across Puerto Rico to bring rural communities into the limelight and take advantage of the connections of federal agencies to make these communities achieve goals faster.
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Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Puerto Rico Rural Partners Network Debuts Its First Forum”. Department of Housing and Urban Development, September 18, 2023,
Last Updated: September 20, 2021