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USDA Launches Pilot Program to Help People in Rural California Repair Homes Damaged By Fire, Flooding, Severe Storms, and Future Natural Disasters

Jamie Welch Jaro
Davis, Calif.
Release Date

DAVIS, Calif. July 19, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development California State Director Maria Gallegos Herrera today announced that the Department is launching a pilot program to make it easier for people to access loans and grants to repair homes damaged by severe storms, fire, flooding, and future natural disasters. The homes must be located in eligible rural areas and presidentially declared disaster areas in states selected to participate in the pilot, which includes California.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA stand ready to deploy every resource at our disposal to help California’s families and individuals recover and recuperate,” Gallegos Herrera said. “We’re working to help rural Californians impacted by natural disasters to get the resources they need to rebuild their homes and their lives. This pilot program shows 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.  

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 in California since July 18, 2022. Funds may also be used in areas subject to future natural disasters in the next two years.  

Applications must be submitted via Grants.gov or directly to the Rural Development State Office.

For more information on how to apply, contact Debbie Morris at Debbie.morris@usda.gov or 530-792-5820, or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ca

Additional information is also available on 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/ca. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.