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USDA Announces Funding to Repair Rural Housing in Wisconsin

Kelly Edwards
Stevens Point
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director, Stan Gruszynski, announced today that two Wisconsin non-profit organizations have been awarded grant funds to help rural families repair and rehabilitate their homes.

"For some in rural communities, needed home maintenance and repair is simply unaffordable,” Gruszynski said. “This program provides supports, in partnership with local non-profit organizations, for essential needs including remediation of  housing health and safety hazards for rural families and residents with extremely limited incomes. In addition to preserving housing, this program helps lower housing costs through energy conservation and weatherization improvements."

Community Development Alternatives, Inc. in Prairie du Chien, Wis., and Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. in Independence, Wis. will each receive a $29,171 grant. Grant funds will enable both organizations to assist five very-low income homeowners make needed repairs to their homes in.

USDA is making the assistance available through the Housing Preservation Grant program. The Department provides financing to intermediaries such as local governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and non-profit organizations.  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.

Grants may be used to make general repairs, such as installing or improving plumbing or providing or enhancing access to people with disabilities. Funds may also be used to weatherize and make homes more energy efficient. Many of the USDA grants are being leveraged with funding from additional sources.

Since 2009, 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 across the nation.

USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Wisconsin.  Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $4.5 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Wisconsin families. More than 100 rural communities in Wisconsin have received assistance from USDA Rural Development for community-improvement and public-safety projects.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As the lead federal agency for rural development needs, USDA Rural Development returned nearly $573 million dollars this past year to rural Wisconsin communities. Funds are used to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technological infrastructures. Further information on USDA Rural Development programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting the web site athttp://www.rurdev.usda.gov/wi.