Washington, Nov 12, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that recipients in 45 states, the Western Pacific and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will receive grants to make housing repairs and improve housing conditions for limited income rural residents. Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O'Brien announced the selections on Secretary Vilsack's behalf.
"Providing safe, reliable housing to rural residents is key to maintaining stable communities and creating jobs," O'Brien said. "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.
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.
Today's announcement includes three recipients from Kentucky. View the list of recipients for Housing Preservation Grants. Each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
“The $99,000 announced today for Kentucky recipients will be leveraged with nearly $160,000 from other funding sources to help 18 Kentucky families improve their housing conditions,” said Thomas G. Fern, state director for USDA Rural Development operations in Kentucky. “We are pleased to have such strong partners helping rural Kentucky families improve their quality of life.”
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.