Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager recently announced the selection of recipients in 49 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for grants to make repairs and improve housing conditions for low- and very-low-income rural residents.
"For many rural residents, maintaining a home with basic features such as indoor plumbing and safe electrical wiring is often unaffordable," Tonsager said. "This program supports basic repairs to improve living conditions for rural residents with extremely limited incomes."
The more than $4.4 million in funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program. Funds are provided to intermediaries such as town or county governments, public agencies and community organizations, which then distribute the funds to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who repair dwellings occupied by low- and very-low-income residents. Funds are not provided directly to the ultimate recipients by USDA.
Grants may be used to make general repairs, such as installing or improving plumbing or providing or enhancing access to people with disabilities. Funds may also be used to weatherize and make homes more energy efficient. Many of the USDA grants are being leveraged with funding from additional sources.
For example, the Randolph County Affordable Housing and Development Corporation in Randolph County will use a grant to make home repairs for low- and very-low income rural families in Randolph and Tucker counties in West Virginia.
Also in West Virginia, the Southern Appalachian Labor School will utilize a grant to rehabilitate homes for low- and very-low income rural families in coal camps located in southern West Virginia.
Additional information on other Rural Development's projects is available online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.