In-Brief

USDA opens call for grants to help repair rural housing

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

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking applications for grants to make housing repairs for low- and very-low income rural residents. The agency is making up to $3.3 million in grants available in Fiscal 2015, through the USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grants program (HPG).

“These grants help rural homeowners repair and improve their properties,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said. “Funds may be used to resolve health or safety issues, make accessibility modifications for people with disabilities, or make energy-efficiency improvements to reduce utility costs.”

Meanwhile, José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico, said eligible applicants for HPGs include town or county governments, public agencies, and nonprofit and faith-based organizations. The USDA does not provide funding directly to homeowners under this program.

Last year, the federal agency provided HPGs for 107 projects in 46 states and Puerto Rico, where eight municipalities received $153,345 to help 80 rural families repair and rehabilitate their homes.

For additional eligibility information click here. Applications are due by 5 p.m. July 6, 2015.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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