In-Brief

USDA grants $153K to Puerto Rico for housing repairs

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

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently granted Puerto Rico $153,345 to help rural families repair and rehabilitate their homes. The funding is included in a global $4.8 million the agency is doling out nationwide, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced.

José Otero-García, Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico said the funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grant program. The agency provides financing to intermediaries such as government entities, nonprofit organizations, and community groups.

These recipients distribute the grants to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low and very low income residents. Funds are not provided directly to homeowners.

“For this cycle of funds we will grant $153,345 to assist the following municipalities, Añasco, Cabo Rojo, Canóvanas, Corozal, Guánica, Las Marías, Maricao and Yabucoa”, Otero-García said. “These funds will help low income families rehabilitate and repair their homes.”

Since the start of the Obama Administration, USDA has provided more than $43 million in Housing Preservation Grants that have leveraged almost $153 million, to repair and rehabilitate nearly 11,000 homes and apartments in rural communities.

“Many lower-income rural families have difficulty meeting their daily living expenses and often don’t have the ability to set money aside for housing upkeep and maintenance,” Vilsack said. “This USDA program provides grants for repairs such as the removal of health or safety hazards so rural residents can stay in their homes. In addition to preserving housing, this program can help people lower their housing costs through energy efficiency and weatherization improvements.”

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