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Success Stories

Never Ones to Ask for Help, Couple Gets Needed Home Repairs through USDA Rural Development

Jane Asselta, State Director
Home Repair
Homeownership Month 2023
Rural Development Staff Stand with the Homeowner

Edmund and Mildred “Lorrie” Smith, at 80 years old found they urgently needed modifications to their bathroom as Edmund’s health worsened. 

The couple, married for 62 years and the proud parents of three children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren found themselves in a difficult spot.  Following several health scares, the Smiths found it more and more difficult getting in and out of their tub. As Edmund’s health declined, they were in dire need of a walk-in-shower.

But how could they get it done and how could they afford it?

Lorrie began her search and found an article for seniors who needed help with home modifications. That search led her to the USDA Rural Development Office in Vineland, New Jersey.  
“I’ve never been one to ask for government help, but I knew we couldn’t afford the walk-in shower on a fixed income.  Fortunately, I found the USDA Rural Development”, Lorrie said. She added, they would not have been able to afford to make the necessary modifications on their fixed income.  

With the assistance of the USDA Rural Development staff during the application, the Smiths were awarded a grant in the amount of $5,200 and loan in the amount of $5,200 to make the essential bathroom repairs to the home, located in Edgewater Park. The Smiths now have a new walk-in shower.

On a recent visit to the home to celebrate Homeownership Month, USDA Rural Development State Director Jane Asselta said, “This is an example of how USDA Rural Development can help our seniors to make home repairs so they can remain in their homes comfortably and safely.”

For more information on the Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants Program, also known as the 504 Loan and Grant Program, contact the USDA Rural Development in Vineland, New Jersey at 856-285-7659.   

Obligation Amount:
Year(s) of Obligation:
Congressional District:
  • New Jersey: District 3