Private entities will be able to invest in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country thanks to the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund announced Thursday by the White House Rural Council.
An initial $10 billion has been committed to the fund with greater investment expected to follow. Target investments will include hospitals, schools and other educational facilities, rural water and wastewater systems, energy projects, broadband expansion, local and regional food systems, and other rural infrastructure.
CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving rural America and a member of the Farm Credit System, is the fund’s anchor investor, committing $10 billion to get the fund off the ground. Capitol Peak Asset Management will manage the new fund and work to recruit more investors to add to CoBank’s initial commitment. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies will help to identify rural projects that could be potential beneficiaries of financing through this new fund and other private sources.
The creation of the new fund was announced during the first-ever White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference in Washington, D.C. This fund will allow America’s rural economy to continue its forward momentum by enhancing access to capital for rural infrastructure projects and speeding up the process of rural infrastructure improvements. More investors can now add to the initial $10 billion in available capital.
The fund will allow a wide variety of new participants, including pension funds, endowments, foundations, and other institutional investors that have not traditionally had access to these markets to invest in rural development. In some cases, projects may be funded entirely through private sector dollars. In others, private dollars may be leveraged with and extend critical government loan and grant programs.