Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $4.8 million to help rural families repair and rehabilitate their homes. The announcement includes nearly $45,000 for a housing preservation effort in Oregon’s Malheur County.
“USDA provides grants to qualified organizations so they can help rural homeowners and rental housing owners make needed repairs and improvements,” said Oregon USDA Rural Development State Director Vicki Walker. “Safe, reliable housing is essential to allow rural communities to thrive. This grant will improve the living conditions for rural Oregon residents while also boosting economic activity as housing contractors are hired to make the home upgrades and repairs.”
A $44,326 grant to Community in Action, along with an additional $35,000 in leveraged funding from the nonprofit, will assist eight very-low- to low-income homeowners residing in Malheur County with critical repairs to address health or safety issues in their homes. The updates will include wastewater system repairs, improved accessibility, heating system repairs, and roof replacements.
USDA is making this assistance available through the Housing Preservation Grant program. The Department provides financing to intermediaries, such as local governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based and community groups. These recipients 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 provided directly to homeowners.
Through today’s announcement, USDA is providing grants for 107 projects in 46 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. View the full list of recipients here. Funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their grant agreement.
“Many lower-income families in rural areas often have difficulty affording housing upkeep and maintenance,” Vilsack said. “This USDA program provides grants for repairs, such as the removal of health or safety hazards, so rural residents can stay in their homes. In addition to preserving housing, this program can help people lower their housing costs through energy efficiency and weatherization improvements.”
Since the start of the Obama Administration, USDA has provided more than $43 million in Housing Preservation Grants that have leveraged almost $153 million to repair and rehabilitate nearly 11,000 homes and apartments in rural communities.
President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his 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.