USDA grants $3.9M to preserve affordable rural housing

Written by  //  September 9, 2016  //  In-Brief  //  No comments

José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Lisa Mensah announced Thursday grants to preserve and repair affordable housing for very-low and low-income families living in rural areas.

USDA is awarding $3.9 million in Housing Preservation Grants (HPG) to 107 organizations in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Island and in every state except Montana and Washington.

“Housing Preservation Grants are excellent source of funding to help folks keep up a safe and energy efficient home that is good repair,” Mensah said. “This funding will go a long way toward helping maintain the value of rural residents’ homes and preserve the supply of safe, affordable housing in rural America.”

Of the funding, five Puerto Rico municipalities will each get $30,858, for a total of $154,290, to repair and rehabilitate homes in rural communities. The municipalities are Gurabo, Humacao, Las Piedras, Naguabo, and Vega Baja, said José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico.

The grants will renovate 966 rural housing units nationwide and 54 in Puerto Rico. They can be used to remove health and safety hazards, make homes more energy efficient and modernize the units. Eligible recipients include local governments, public agencies, nonprofit organizations and faith-based and community groups. They distribute the grants to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low and very low-income residents.

USDA has provided $51 million in Housing Preservation Grants since the start of the Obama administration. These grants have leverage more than $184 million to repair and rehabilitate nearly 13,000 homes and apartments in rural communities.

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