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USDA Expands Pilot Program to Help People in Rural Florida Repair Homes Damaged By Severe Weather and Natural Disasters

Release Date

Home Repair Loan and Grant Eligibility Now Available for People in All States with Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas

Gainesville, Fla., Sept. 6, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands Lakeisha Hood Moise today announced that the Department is expanding its Single Family Housing Home Repair Loans and Grants in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas Pilot Program to make it easier for people in rural areas across the U.S., including Florida, to access loans and grants to repair homes damaged by a presidentially declared disasters in calender year 2022 through the conclusion of the pilot on July 18, 2025.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA stand ready to deploy every resource at our disposal to help families and individuals recover and recuperate,” State Director Hood Moise said. “We are working hard to find solutions that better accommodate people impacted by natural disasters in rural areas across this state, like Hurricane Idalia, to help them get the resources they need to rebuild their homes and their lives. The pilot program we are announcing today is a key example of this critical work and will hopefully create a blueprint for helping people in rural communities across the country recover from natural disasters.”

This USDA pilot program significantly expands eligibility for people seeking Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants to repair and rebuild their homes damaged in areas of presidentially declared disasters from twenty-four (24) States and U.S. Territories to include all homes damaged by a presidentially declared disaster.

As a part of this pilot, USDA is making a number of changes, including:

• Lowering the minimum age from 62 to 18 for eligible homeowners.
• Refinancing debt and reimbursing repair costs incurred as a result of the natural disaster and prior to the date of the application.
• Financing costs to relocate mobile and manufactured homes.
Funds may be used in presidentially declared disaster areas that occurred since July 18, 2022, including the Adkins Avenue and Chipola Complex Fires, as well as Tropical Storms Nicole and Ian, and Hurricanes Nicole, Ian and Idalia. Funds may also be used in areas subject to future natural disasters in the next two years.

The homes must be located in eligible rural areas and presidentially declared disaster areas.

Applications must be submitted directly to the Rural Development State Office.
For more information on how to apply, contact the appropriate Area Office found here, https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-page/florida-and-virgin-islands-contacts, or visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-programs/single-family-housing-rural-disaster-home-repair-grants.
Additional information is also available on page 60883 of the Sept. 6 Federal Register and page 45809 of the July 18 Federal Register.
For more resources to support rural communities seeking disaster assistance, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/page/rural-development-disaster-assistance.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender