May has been declared “Older Americans Month” to recognize and show appreciation to our Nation’s older citizens. As the baby boom generation grows older, they may need services to allow them to retire, live with dignity and respect, and enjoy new opportunities.
To ensure decent, safe and affordable housing remains available, USDA Rural Development can provide assistance through home repair loans and grants to remove health and safety hazards or make a home accessible for household members.
Funds can be used to replace roofing, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, septic systems, and other health and safety hazards. They can also be used for ramps, handrails, replacing tubs with handicapped accessible showers and toilets, widening doorways and other changes needed to provide accessibility.
For low-income home owners, loans are available at the current 3.25% interest rate. There are also loans for very-low income home owners up to $20,000 at a 1% fixed interest rate for up to 20 years. Seniors age 62 and older who lack sufficient repayment for a loan may be eligible for a grant of up to $7,500, or a loan and grant combination to make needed repairs and improvements.
Program eligibility is based on household income that does not exceed the very-low limit and the property must be located in rural communities or areas. You can go to https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do to see if your property is in an eligible area and also to determine if you are within the established income limit based on the size of household and county.
Information and applications may be obtained from Abilene USDA Rural Development Office at 4400 Buffalo Gap Road, Suite 4150, Abilene, TX 79606, or by telephone at 325-690-6162, extension 4.