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ORH News

Addressing At-Home Health & Safety Concerns

04/08/11  Online

Home Repair Assistance Available for Very Low-Income & Senior Homeowners

Eligible rural homeowners who qualify as "very low income" and whose homes need critical repairs may be eligible for financial assistance to fix a failing roof, sewer hookup or other serious issue creating a health or safety concern.

Through the Section 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant Program, USDA Rural Development offers low-interest loans and a limited amount of grant funding to income-eligible homeowners in rural areas and communities with a population of 25,000 or less.

The program offers 20-year home repair loans of up to $20,000 at a fixed rate of one percent.

Grant funding may be available on a limited basis for homeowners who are 62 or older, cannot afford a loan, and need to repair or replace essential items, such as a broken furnace or plumbing. Funding may also be provided for disability access, such as an entrance ramp or other home modifications required by those with mobility issues. Grants are limited to $7,500. For larger projects, seniors may apply for a loan-grant combination.

Funding is limited and therefore prioritized for hardship cases and applications addressing health and safety hazards that affect the livability of the applicants' homes.