USDA Rural Development State Director Glenda Humiston today highlighted five California organizations receiving grants to repair and improve homes for low income rural residents. The grants are provided through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program.
"Helping improve housing conditions is an important part of our mission at USDA Rural Development," said Humiston. "Working together with these five groups, some of the neediest in our rural communities will have the opportunity to make critical repairs to their homes, and safe, reliable housing is key component to healthy rural communities."
Grants may be used to make general repairs, such as installing or improving plumbing, or providing or to make homes more energy efficient. Funds may also be used to enhance access to people with disabilities. For example, Habitat for Humanity Lake County used a 2011 Housing Preservation Grant to help James, a wheelchair bound Vietnam veteran in Lucerne, Calif., widen his doorway and install a wheelchair lift at his home. With these accessibility repairs, James was able to leave his home without assistance for the first time in many years. Habitat for Humanity Lake County will use funds to help rehabilitate and repair another 21 homes in Lake County.
Self-Help Enterprises in Visalia will help 75 homeowners throughout Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced and Tulare counties with a variety of weatherization repairs. The County of Fresno will use their award to help three homeowners with roof repairs and handicap accessibility.
Great Northern Corporation in Weed will use the grant to assist nine homeowners in Siskiyou County correct health and safety hazards as well as make weatherization upgrades. Self-Help Home Improvement Project in Redding will help rehabilitate 25 homeowners in Shasta and Tehama Counties with support from two other weatherization and home repair programs.
In total, 133 low-income homeowners in California will be able to make important repairs to their homes. USDA Rural Development's investments are being leveraged with $455,721 from other sources.
Housing Preservation Grants 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.
Nationally, 45 organizations received funding. A complete list of recipients for Housing Preservation Grants is available. Each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
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.