Known as the Section 504 Home Repair Program, the program provides loans to homeowners for repairs, improvements, or modernizations for their homes. These are affordable loans at a one percent interest rate and terms of up to twenty years. Grants are also available for homeowners 62 years of age and older in need of health and safety improvements. There is no deadline to apply, however, funds are available by appropriation each fiscal year.
To qualify, applicants must own and occupy the home and not exceed income guidelines established by county and household size. The family’s income must be below 50 percent of the county median income, which for many counties in Nebraska, is between $ $35,800-$43,900 for a 1–4-person household, or $47,300-$57,950 for a 5–8-person household. The home must be located in an eligible rural area. All communities in Nebraska are eligible for housing programs with the exceptions of Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha, and South Sioux City/Dakota City.
Using the https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do interested persons can enter a specific address for determination or search the map to review general eligible areas.
Loans are available up to $40,000 and grants are available up to $10,000, both can be combined for a total of up to $50,000 in federal assistance. For example, in 2020 the McDowell family of Ponca, Nebraska applied for and was approved for both a loan and a grant for a combined project amount of $7,131 for a new furnace/ac unit ensuring the family safe heat through the winter.
Helping people stay in their own homes and keeping those homes in good repair helps families and their communities. It strengthens communities and helps many kinds of businesses that support the local economy.
Households interested in affordable home improvements may view the agency website at: www.rd.usda.gov/ne for additional information, or contact USDA Rural Development, Single Family Housing Department at: 402-437-5551, Option 1, or e-mail: SM.RD.NE.SFHQST@usda.gov
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 in business development, housing, community facilities, and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ne. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.