Puerto Rico has been selected to participate in a pilot program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, which is kicking off “National Homeownership Month.”
USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, Josué E. Rivera, said the island has been included in the Single-Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program, also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program.
The initiative provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes or grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.
“This help is very important for Puerto Rico now that we are entering the hurricane season. We can use the 504 HR Program to make our homes more resilient and safer to withstand a hurricane and also repair the houses affected by Hurricanes Irma and María,” he said.
The provisions under this pilot program include:
- Removing the requirement to subdivide or sell land which borrower already owns;
- Increasing the maximum repair loan from $20,000 to $40,000; and,
- Increasing the maximum grant from $7,500 to $10,000 (elderly only-lifetime limit.)
The USDA Single Family Housing Program have served more than 4.4 million families in Rural America since President Truman signed the Housing Act in 1949.
Throughout June USDA employees will celebrate National Homeownership Month with events across the nation.