HILO, Hawaii, Jul 10, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Chris Kanazawa announced today the recent completion of several critical repairs to the home of Mrs. Susana Sohs of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Sohs' home was renovated with funds provided from USDA's Section 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant Program.
Sohs' home, located in Uh Municipality (County) on the FSM's Capitol Island, needed several major repairs to make it safe, sanitary and livable again for Sohs and her two grandchildren. The home lacked interior plumbing including a toilet and kitchen, the walls were infested with termites, and the old tin roof leaked and posed a real risk of collapse. As well, the doors and windows were dilapidated and unsecure, and the electrical wiring was unsafe.
"At USDA we understand the absolute necessity safe, secure, livable housing plays in the quality of life for our island neighbors," said Kanazawa. "Our housing programs aim to help rural residents improve their standard of living by guaranteeing access to funding for urgently needed, critical home repairs to alleviate dangerous living conditions."
USDA Rural Development provided Sohs a $7,450 loan and $7,500 grant to make the necessary repairs to her home. The Section 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant Program is available in small, rural communities to help low-income homeowners make essential repairs to their homes. Low interest loans up to $20,000 are available, and for seniors aged 62 or older who cannot afford a loan, grants up to $7,500 are available.
"On behalf of my family, I wish to relay our gratitude and heartfelt 'thank you's' to USDA Rural Development and its employees. Our lives are better than ever before, and we wake up every morning now in a good, safe, and clean home," said Sohs. "I am fortunate and wish to convey to everyone that USDA makes a great difference in Pohnpei. Thank you so much Rural Development!"
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas.
USDA in Hawaii and Micronesia is serviced by the State Office in Hilo, three Area Offices (Oahu, Guam, Pohnpei), and five Satellite Offices (Kauai, Moloka'i, Maui, American Samoa, Majuro and Palau). For contact information, please call the State Office at 808-933-8380.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).