USDA announces $40M in funding for farmer housing

800px-USDA_logo.svgThe U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week the availability of nearly $40 million to provide housing for farm workers and their families.

The funding is broken down to approximately $30 million in loans, $8.5 million in grants and $951,100 in rental assistance, said José Otero-García, Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico.

The USDA’s Farm Labor Housing Program is the only national source of construction funds to buy, build or improve housing for farmworkers. Loans and grants are provided to buy, build, improve, or repair housing for farm laborers, including persons whose income in earned in aquaculture (fish and oyster farms) and those engaged in on-farm processing.

Furthermore, funds can be used to purchase a site or a leasehold interest in a site; to construct housing, day care facilities, or community rooms; to pay fees to purchase durable household furnishings; and to pay construction loan interest. Loans are for 33 years at 1 percent interest, except as noted above.  Grants may cover up to 90 percent of development costs.

More information about how to apply is available in the Aug. 14, 2013 Federal Register.

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