WASHINGTON, June 11, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants to preserve and repair housing for very-low- and low-income families living in rural areas.
“USDA provides grants to qualified organizations so they can help rural homeowners and rental housing owners make repairs and improvements,” Vilsack said. “These grants help families with limited incomes preserve their housing and improve their living conditions. They can be used for a variety of needs, such as repairs to resolve health or safety issues or for energy-efficiency improvements to reduce utility costs. The program also boosts economic activity for housing contractors in rural areas who are hired to make the home upgrades and repairs.”
The funds are being made available in USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grant program. Eligible applicants include town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and non-profit and faith-based organizations. USDA does not provide funding directly to homeowners under this program.
Up to $3.9 million is available in Fiscal Year 2014. Applications are due July 28, 2014. More information on how to apply is on page 33495 of today’s Federal Register.
In 2012, Habitat for Humanity Lake County (Calif.) received a $55,000 Housing Preservation Grant to help 12 low-income homeowners repair their homes. One person helped was James, a Vietnam veteran living in Lucerne, Calif. James uses a wheelchair for mobility, but could not leave his home without assistance. Habitat for Humanity widened his doorway and installed a wheelchair lift, giving him independence again.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.
USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.