News Release
Release No.STELPRD4022799
ContactCandice Celestin(315) 399-8393
Bath, NY, Jan 23, 2014 --

@@A USDA official announced today that funds are available to help rural residents of western New York buy or repair single family homes.

“Expanding and preserving homeownership is a major part of the foundation for a stronger, more prosperous rural New York,” said Lee Telega, USDA Rural Development New York State Director. “There is tremendous potential for western New York and these funds will contribute towards building safe communities that people can call home.”

Funding is available through two Rural Development housing programs; the Home Repair program and the Guaranteed and Direct Loan program.

The Guaranteed Loan program assists lenders extend mortgages with affordable terms to low and moderate income homebuyers. Rural Development guarantees the loan, thereby reducing the lender’s risk and enabling them to provide financing at more favorable rates and terms. Guaranteed loans can be made on either a new or existing home for up to 100 percent of the appraised value.

Under the Direct loan program, applicants apply directly to USDA for loan assistance. No down payment is required and applicants may be eligible for payment assistance, which subsidizes the interest portion of the mortgage, lowering the overall monthly payment amount.

The Home Repair program offers very-low income homeowners loans and grants to make general home repairs or modifications, which may improve or modernize a home. The interest rate on these loans is one percent and the maximum term is 20 years. Applicants may obtain multiple loans, with a maximum outstanding loan amount at a given time of $20,000. Grants are available to very-low income homeowners age 62 or older who cannot afford a loan. Grants are limited to a lifetime assistance of $7,500 and must be used to remove health and safety hazards or make a home more handicap accessible.

These programs have been very successful by providing decent, safe, and sanitary housing in rural New York. For example, in 2013, David Scholtisek from Schuyler County received a $7,106 Home Repair grant to make his home handicap accessible. Today, Mr. Scholtisek’s home has accessibility ramps, making it more convenient and safe.

For more information on these programs and how to apply, please contact Jim Walfrand, Western Region Area Director at (585) 343 9167 x 4 or visit to find a local USDA office.

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.