Penobscot Indian Nation and Western Maine Community Action Receive USDA Rural Development Grants to Preserve Affordable Rural Housing

Contact: Emily Cannon
(207) 990-9175

USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Lisa Mensah today announced grants to preserve and repair affordable housing for very-low- and low-income families living in rural areas. In Maine, the Penobscot Indian Nation and Western Maine Community Action have been selected to receive a total of $52,042.

“Housing Preservation Grants are an excellent source of funding to help folks keep up a safe and energy-efficient home that is in good repair,” Mensah said. “This funding will go a long way toward helping maintain the value of rural residents’ homes and preserve the supply of safe, affordable housing in rural America.”

USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “I am pleased USDA Rural Development can provide these essential grants that will have a major impact on 29 Maine tribal and rural families, by providing critical home repairs, including weatherization for the cold Maine winter.”

In Maine:

  • Penobscot Indian Nation has been selected to receive a Housing Preservation Grant in the amount of $26,021. Rural Development grant funds will be used by the Penobscot Indian Nation to rehabilitate and repair approximately 14 homes. Penobscot Indian Nation will assist all very low income households with funds, and funds will be used in conjunction with other funding sources for emergency repair and/or replacement of critical building components. Anticipated leveraged funds total $40,000.

  • Western Maine Community Action has been selected to receive a Housing Preservation Grant in the amount of $26,021. Rural Development funds will be used to rehabilitate and repair 15 homes in Franklin County. Western Maine Community Action (WMCA) proposes to assist all very low income households with funds. Funds will be used in conjunction with weatherization, central heating improvement, and other funding sources for anticipated leveraged funds totaling $67,000.

USDA is awarding $3.9 million in Housing Preservation Grants to 107 organizations in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and in every state except Montana and Washington.

The grants will renovate 966 rural housing units. They can be used to remove health and safety hazards, make homes more energy efficient, and modernize the units. Eligible recipients include local governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, nonprofit organizations and faith-based and community groups. They distribute the grants to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low- and very-low-income residents.

The organizations receiving the grants determine which local projects to support. Funding for all awards is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their grant agreement.

USDA has provided $51 million in Housing Preservation Grants since the start of the Obama Administration. These grants have leveraged more than $184 million to repair and rehabilitate nearly 13,000 homes and apartments in rural communities.

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@USDARD) has invested nearly $13 billion to start or expand nearly 112,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. USDA also has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents. For more information, visit

USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 54 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at

Last Modified: 09/07/2016