USDA and Louisiana Housing Corporation discuss rural development in Natchitoches

USDA Program Director Matthew Seaton outlines business development programs available to local entrepreneurs and business owners. Nathan Wilson

Nathan Wilson
The Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) welcomed a new executive director, Joshua Hollins, in April. That same month, Deidre Robert became state director of rural development for the United States Department of Agriculture. Together, they embarked on a series of community information meetings they dubbed the LHC/USDA Road Show to familiarize rural community leaders with the resources available for rural development and access to housing.
Robert described over 40 USDA-administered rural development programs to support rural communities. Their programs include loans, grants and other financial assistance and targeted assistance for residents, businesses and community projects. Examples of such programs range from financing for the improvement of public water resources to residential energy efficiency loans and financing guarantees for the creation of rural enterprises.

This article originally appeared in the August 18, 2022 print edition.

Hollins and his team described programs to support residents with disaster recovery, housing preservation, and energy assistance programs. LHC also finances the construction of single and multi-family housing and provides rural residents with home ownership opportunities. LHC is focused on developing housing opportunities for Louisiana residents.
All residents of Natchitoches are eligible for LHC and USDA programs because the town of Natchitoches and all other communities in the parish are classified as rural. For more information on the resources provided by LHC, visit For more information on USDA’s rural development programs, visit or contact the USDA Service Center located at 318-352-7100.

LHC Executive Director Joshua Hollins explains the organization’s efforts to provide affordable, high-quality housing for Louisiana residents.

The event was well attended by Natchitoches town officials, but the parish’s smaller communities were underrepresented and the parish council was not present due to a scheduled meeting. Those interested in learning more can still attend the nearest scheduled rural meeting at 1208 Main St. in Colfax at 10 a.m. on August 18.

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