Iowa’s cold and windy winters, wet springs and intense summer sun can take a toll on homes, especially older ones with aging roofs, siding or windows.
If a rural homeowner needs to make essential repairs such as a new furnace, roof, siding, or accessibility improvements this summer, USDA Rural Development’s home repair low-interest loan and/or grant program is available to help eligible households make needed improvements.
Loans have a fixed interest rate as low as one percent and typically may be repaid over a term of 20 years. Grants are available to help applicants who are 62 or older, and who cannot repay a loan, remove health and safety hazards or make the home accessible for a disabled family member.
“These loans and grants help eligible families make needed repairs that they otherwise couldn’t afford,” said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. Through this program a family can get a $3,000 loan that has a monthly payment as low as $13.80.”
Examples of eligible home repair projects include, but are not limited to, repair/replacement of storm doors, windows, steps, furnaces, water heaters or roofs. Funds can also be used for insulation, electrical, plumbing, septic and water systems, and to make accessibility improvements for persons with disabilities. Homes repaired with these funds must be located in communities of less than 20,000 people or in rural areas.
Along with loans and grants to repair homes, USDA Rural Development has two low-interest, no-down-payment loan programs to help eligible households purchase new homes.
USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $3 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families.
“Each year USDA Rural Development invests more than $200 million in loans and grants that provide rural Iowa residents with decent, safe and sanitary housing,” Menner said. “It’s through housing programs like this one that we work to ensure that as many rural Iowans as possible have access to adequate housing.”
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
USDA Rural Development is working with rural communities to create jobs, expand opportunity, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future. The agency currently administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility loan and grant programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and farmers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s 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. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.