42 U.S. Code § 9810 - Financial assistance to low-income families, local cooperative associations, and local public or private nonprofit organizations or entities; amount, purposes, etc.

(a) The Secretary is authorized to provide financial assistance, including loans having a maximum maturity of fifteen years and in amounts not resulting in an aggregate principal indebtedness of more than $3,500 at any one time, to any low-income rural family where, in the judgment of the Secretary, such financial assistance has a reasonable possibility of effecting a permanent increase in the income of such families, or will contribute to the improvement of their living or housing conditions, by assisting or permitting them to—
(1) acquire or improve real estate or reduce encumbrances or erect improvements thereon;
(2) operate or improve the operation of farms not larger than family sized, including but not limited to the purchase of feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock, poultry, and equipment; or
(3) participate in cooperative associations, or finance nonagricultral  [1] enterprises which will enable such families to supplement their income.
(b) The Secretary is authorized to provide financial assistance to local cooperative associations or local public and private nonprofit organizations or agencies in rural areas containing concentrations or substantial numbers of low-income persons for the purpose of defraying all or part of the costs of establishing and operating cooperative programs for farming, purchasing, marketing, processing, and to improve their income as producers and their purchasing power as consumers, and to provide such essentials as credit and health services. Costs which may be defrayed shall include—
(1) administrative costs of staff and overhead;
(2) costs of planning and developing new enterprises;
(3) costs of acquiring technical assistance; and
(4) initial capital where it is determined by the Secretary that the poverty of the families participating in the program and the social conditions of the rural area require such assistance.

[1]  So in original. Probably should be “nonagricultural”.


(Pub. L. 97–35, title VI, § 621,Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 493.)


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