The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has announced adequate funding remains available to assist very low income households with home repairs. For those who own and occupy homes in need of essential repairs and who are wondering how to get financing, USDA Rural Development can help with grants and low-interest loans for homeowners in rural communities. All communities in Nebraska are eligible for housing programs with the exceptions of Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha and South Sioux City/Dakota City.
Applicants must own and occupy the home and not exceed income guidelines established by county and household size. The family’s income must below 50 percent of the county median income. For many counties in Nebraska, the income limit for a one person household is $21,350; two person, $24,400; three person, $27,450; four person, $30,500 and five person, $32,950. However, some counties may have higher income limits. Please contact your USDA Rural Development office for the details in your county.
Available Low-interest Loans:
Rural Development’s Home Repair Loan program offers low-interest (1 percent) loans, up to $20,000, to very low income rural homeowners. Loans may be used to repair, improve or modernize homes or to remove health and safety hazards. Homeowners must meet household income guidelines, have an acceptable credit history and show repayment ability for the loan based on a household budget.
The USDA repair loan may be made up to $20,000 at a 1% interest rate, with a repayment term up to 20 years. Loans of less than $7,500 may not require a mortgage against the property. The low interest rate and extended terms of the loan make repayment more affordable for households with limited income. For example, a $10,000 loan at 1% interest for 20 years would have a monthly payment of $46, compared to a conventional loan with an interest rate of 5% for 10 years, with a monthly payment of $106.
Rural Development’s Home Repair Grant program is available to owner-occupants of a rural home, who are 62 years of age or older, are very low income and are unable to repay a loan. Grant funds may only be used to remove health and safety hazards, such as replacing a roof, electrical and plumbing repairs, sanitary disposal systems and accommodations to make the home handicap accessible. Maximum lifetime grant assistance is $7,500.
Eligibility for the program is based on household income and applicants must be unable to repay a loan. If applicants can repay part, but not all of the costs, applicants may be offered a loan and grant combination.
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.
Helping people stay in their home and keep it in good repair helps families and their communities. Households interested in affordable home improvements may contact their local USDA Rural Development office or visit the Agency website at www.rd.usda.gov/ne for additional information.