Topeka, KS, Nov 15, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that two entities in Kansas will receive grants to make housing repairs and improve housing conditions for limited income rural residents.
"Providing safe, reliable housing to rural residents is key to maintaining stable communities and creating jobs," said Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O'Brien. "USDA has developed strategic partnerships with Tribes, community organizations and non-profit groups to improve the living conditions for thousands of rural residents."
Funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program. Funds are provided to intermediaries such as local governments, public agencies, federally-recognized Indian Tribes, and non-profit, 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. Funds are not directly provided to eligible homeowners by USDA.
In Kansas, USDA Rural Development provided two $25,000 Housing Preservation Grants. The Coffey County Housing Authority and the City of Mankato were awarded grants to assist low and very-low income residents make essential repairs to their homes.
“We hope to be able to repair approximately 16 homes in Coffey County,” stated Ronda Gilbert, Executive Director of the Coffey County Housing Authority. “Some of the home repairs that the housing authority will be able to assist with are new roofs, window repairs, electric upgrades and foundation maintenance.”
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 make homes more energy efficient.
O'Brien said that today's announcement is another reason why Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill passed as soon as possible. Farm Bill programs are important to the economic vitality of rural America, and a comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy, he added.
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.
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