VIRGINIA, Minn., Oct 31, 2011 -- The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) in Northeast Minnesota has been selected to receive a $69,000 Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) through USDA Rural Development. The grant will be used to assist seven very-low and low-income households in St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties make essential improvements and repairs to their homes.
“Providing safe housing results in sustainable rural communities and a clear path toward job creation,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer. “The AEOA has been a valuable partner for USDA and does tremendous work in improving the living conditions for rural Minnesotans.”
The HPG program provides funding to intermediaries such as town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and non-profit and faith-based and community organizations. These organizations then distribute the grants to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low- and very-low-income residents.
Grants may be used to make general repairs, such as installing or improving plumbing or providing or enhancing access to people with disabilities. Funds may also be used to weatherize and make homes more energy efficient.
Formed in 1965, AEOA strengthens communities by providing opportunities for people experiencing social and economic challenges. The agency employs 350 full- and part-time staff and uses more than 1,000 volunteers among five departments.
USDA Rural Development has invested about $2.5 billion throughout rural Minnesota since 2009. In addition to home repair funding, Rural Development finances home loans, infrastructure, community facilities, businesses, renewable energy and high-speed Internet.
To learn more about Rural Development programs, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn.