Albuquerque, NM, Feb 10, 2011 -- Earlier today, USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner joined members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation and other state and federal agencies to convey that there is help available to those residents needing to replace or repair heating systems.
During the forum Brunner announced, “Our agency is committed to working with very low income families and individuals that need to replace old, outdated heating, water and electrical systems in their homes.”
Brunner is referring to the Section 504 home loan and grant program which is available to very low-income rural residents who own and occupy a home in need of repairs. Funds can be used to improve or modernize a home, or to remove health and safety hazards. This loan is a 1% loan that may be repaid over a 20-year period.
To apply for one of these loans, homeowner-occupants must be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere and must have a very low income. Very low income is defined as below 50 percent of the area median income. Grants are only available to homeowners who are 62 years old or older and cannot repay a Section 504 loan.
A real estate mortgage and full title services are required for loans of $7,500 or more. Grants have to be repaid if the property is sold in less than 3 years. Grant funds may only be used to pay for repairs and improvements resulting in the removal of health and safety hazards. A grant/loan combination is made if the applicant can repay part of the cost. Loans and grants can be combined for up to $27,500 in assistance.
Brunner also announced that USDA staff will hold office hours next week in Española and Taos to take applications for these programs. The office days and locations are as follows:
• In Espanola on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 from 10 AM and 3:00 PM at the USDA Service Center located at 424 South Riverside Drive.
• In Taos the office day will be held on Wednesday February 16, 2010 from 10 am to 3 pm at 525 Ranchitos Road Unit 936.
Those applying for the funds are asked to bring the following:
• Warranty deed
• Verification of Income
• Cost estimates
• Proof of age for grant (62 years or older)
• List of debts presently being paid and account numbers and addresses of accounts
• Checking and savings account numbers
• Photo Id
• Income tax records for most recently filed income tax
• Property tax information
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov