Washington, D.C., Oct 18, 2012 -- Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced the selection of recipients in 49 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for grants to make repairs and improve housing conditions for low- and very-low-income rural residents.
“For many rural residents, maintaining a home with basic features such as indoor plumbing and safe electrical wiring is often unaffordable,” Tonsager said. “This program supports basic repairs to improve living conditions for rural residents with extremely limited incomes.”
The more than $4.4 million in funding announced today is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program. Funds are provided 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 funds to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who repair dwellings occupied by low- and very-low-income residents. Funds are not provided directly to the ultimate recipients by USDA.
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. Many of the USDA grants are being leveraged with funding from additional sources.
USDA’s Housing Preservation Grant Program has a record of helping low-income rural residents eliminate safety or health challenges. In Missouri, North East Community Action Corporation will receive $38,059. These funds will be used to repair and rehabilitate eight homes for low- and very-low-income homeowners in nine targeted counties. East Missouri Action Agency was awarded $38,059. Funds will be used in conjunction with weatherization funds to rehabilitate five owner-occupied homes. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
“Housing is critical to the well-being of our rural cities, towns and villages,” Missouri Rural Development State Director Janie Dunning said. “Without decent, safe and sanitary housing, rural areas cannot sustain one of the essential elements for overall community development. Good housing is absolutely necessary for rural communities.”
For information on other Rural Development's projects, please visit the agency's new interactive web map at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html. The map features program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. For further information about Rural Development housing programs in Missouri visit the website at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
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 $174 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 America.
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