Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) assists rural communities to access and effectively utilize resources. RCAC loans have contributed to more than 26,268 households by improving drinking water and wastewater facilities, and helped nonprofit organizations develop 806,000 square feet of community facilities space. RCAC's lending has increased the supply of affordable housing by nearly 10,800 units. RCAC operates in the Western United States.
RCAC's revolving loan fund provides both financial assistance and training. RCAC's skilled staff and external partners deliver holistic solutions to complex community needs. In 2008, 61% of lending supported affordable housing and 39% supported community facilities including water/wastewater infrastructure, health care facilities and special needs housing. RCAC's services include:
- Access to Resources: Since 1988, the Loan Fund has helped rural nonprofit developers and government entities respond to the increasing demand for affordable housing and need for improved environmental infrastructure coupled with a dwindling supply of financing. RCAC leverages funds from foundations, religious organizations, banks, and government agencies for low-interest short-term loans, and for long-term bridge financing in affordable housing projects and community facilities.
- Technical Assistance: RCAC provides training in affordable housing and finance, nonprofit organizational development, drinking water, wastewater and solid waste systems, and rural comprehensive community development. We train organizations directly and at conferences.
- Networking and Advocacy: Due to size and isolation, rural communities often have difficulty finding resources to solve problems. RCAC helps form rural networks by strengthening the relationships among rural communities and local, state, and federal agencies.
Investments by institutions such as Calvert Foundation provide lending capital to RCAC.
RCAC's clients typically are nonprofit agencies and local public agencies that serve rural, low-income communities and disadvantaged people, including traditionally underserved communities such as farm workers and Native Americans. RCAC's definition of rural is limited to communities of fewer than 50,000, but most of the communities we serve are 10,000 or less. The U.S. Census information for the communities served by RCAC's nonprofit borrowers indicates that 40%-50% of the population includes ethnic minorities.
At close of fiscal year 2008, RCAC had closed 517 short and long term loans which totaled $257,852,169 and leveraged more than $1 billion for rural projects. These loans supported 26,268 individual water and wastewater connections for rural citizens, 10,790 housing units for low-income persons and 806,043 square feet of community facility space. This translates to over 12,000 jobs created or retained. Additionally, each issue of RCAC's online and print publications reaches several thousand readers with timely and useful information. RCAC serves more than 700 organizations and communities each year, which in turn benefit thousands of low-income people.
After many years of costly repairs, Sunrise Shore Mutual Water Company (MWC) now has a system that produces clean, safe and affordable water. A $225,000 RCAC loan enabled the water system to make crucial upgrades in the nick of time.
“They had to move quickly or possibly be forced to haul water. RCAC rapidly processed a loan application and the project was under construction in less than 90 days.” Full Story