Grants to help rural residents repair their homes

From press release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced April 29 that USDA is accepting applications for grants to help low- and very-low-income rural residents repair their homes.

“The costs associated with maintaining a home are a challenge for many rural homeowners, and the funding we are announcing today will help low- and very-low-income residents in rural areas maintain and repair their homes,” Vilsack said. “The Obama administration and USDA are working to ensure that rural homeowners have safe, sanitary, energy-efficient places to live.”

Housing Preservation Grants are provided to intermediaries such as town or county governments, public agencies, federally-recognized Indian tribes, and non-profit and faith-based organizations. The grants are then distributed to qualified homeowners or owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low- and very-low-income residents. The grants can be used to weatherize and repair existing structures, install or improve plumbing or provide access to people with disabilities.

For example, in 2008, the Kendall County Public Health Department, with headquarters in Yorkville, Ill., received a $53,000 Housing Preservation Grant, matched with funds from a state weatherization grant, to help rural families in the department’s two-county service area make their homes more energy efficient. With the funds, the agency was able to provide a $3,925 grant to help David and Maria Blas in Plano, Ill., insulate their attic, caulk the frames of all their windows, replace the roof, and clean their water heater, making it operationally more efficient.

USDA may award up to $10.1 million in competitive grants through the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) published in the April 27 Federal Register. The grants to be awarded are part of USDA Rural Development’s annual budget and are not funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

For more information about Housing Preservation Grants in Illinois, call Brenda Barr at (217) 403-6225.

Rural Development provides financing and technical assistance to foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. More information about USDA Rural Development is available online at

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

From the June 9-15, 2010 issue

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