USDA is now accepting applications for grants to help low- and very-low-income rural residents repair their homes. Housing Preservation Grants are provided to intermediaries such as town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes and non-profit and faith-based organizations to disperse. The grants are distributed to homeowners or owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low- and very-low-income people.
"Housing is a cornerstone of any thriving, stable community," Vilsack said. "As the Obama administration works to ensure that people remain in their homes, it is more important than ever to make certain their homes are safe, energy efficient, livable dwellings."
Grants can be put to use for a wide range of activities from weatherization and repair to the installation or improvement of plumbing. An example cited in the release announcing the grants points to the Gateway Community Action Agency used a USDA Rural Development Housing Preservation grant in 2008 to make accessibility, weatherization and other improvements to William Reed's home in Owingsville, Ky. Gateway added insulation, weather stripping, seals around doors and windows, an energy-saving shower head and more efficient light bulbs.
USDA may award up to $10 million in competitive grants through this notice. The grants to be awarded are part of USDA Rural Development's annual budget and are not funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov