USDA opens grants cycle to improve rural housing quality

Written by  //  June 24, 2013  //  In-Brief  //  No comments

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José Otero-García, Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico.

José Otero-García, Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for grants to help low- and very-low-income rural residents repair their homes.

“The Obama administration and USDA are working to ensure that rural homeowners and renters have safe, affordable and sanitary places to live,” U.S. Agricultur Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “These grant funds will help low- and very-low-income residents in our rural communities maintain and repair their homes and make them more energy-efficient.”

For fiscal year 2013, the USDA is making available up to $3.8 million nationwide through the Housing Preservation Grant program, said José Otero-García, Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico.

Grants are provided to qualified intermediaries such as town or county governments, public agencies, community organizations, non-profit and faith-based organizations. The grants are then distributed to qualified homeowners or owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low- and very-low-income residents.

The grants can be used to weatherize and repair existing structures, install or improve plumbing or provide access to people with disabilities. In addition, the program assists rental property owners and cooperative housing complexes in repairing and rehabilitating their units if they agree to make such units available to low- and very low-income persons.

For additional information on eligibility for Housing Preservation Grants, please see the June 18, 2013 Federal Register.

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