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USDA Rural announces increase in grants available for home repairs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program announced it has more than tripled the maximum amount of grants for low-income people 62 and older in Puerto Rico to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Fiona to $36,520 from $10,000.

Typically, the RH 504 home repair program provides up to $10,000 for housing repair for very low-income individuals who are 62 years of age or older and are residents of rural areas, said Maximiliano J. Trujillo, state director of USDA Rural Development in Puerto Rico.

With the increased grant, individuals or families whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Fiona will have the opportunity to make improvements to their properties, Trujillo said. If the applicant needs more than $36,520 to repair their home, they could take out a loan at an interest rate of 1% for 20 years.

Residents of San Juan, Cataño and the Ponce metropolitan area are excluded from this aid, the agency stated.  

Income eligibility depends on the municipality where the homes are located. The agency has offices in the municipalities of Caguas, Camuy, Juana Diaz, Mayagüez, Morovis and Utuado.

Funds are available while they last or until Sept. 30, Trujillo said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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