Earlier this year, JoAnne Davis of Windsor, Vermont was startled by the shriek of her carbon monoxide detector. The local fire department responded, and discovered an easily fixed water heater ventilation issue had caused carbon monoxide to build up in the home. Luckily JoAnne’s carbon monoxide and fire detectors were all replaced just a few months earlier thanks to a grant from USDA Rural Development to repair and rehabilitate her long-time family residence.
“If they had not been installed, I would not be able to type this ‘THANK YOU’ to you today,” JoAnne wrote to Debbie Boyd, USDA Rural Development’s Housing Specialist in Brattleboro. “I just want to let you and USDA know what terrific work you are doing for people like myself who cannot afford to get necessary work done without help!”
In September, JoAnne came to Rural Development seeking help to obtain electrical and safety upgrades to her home. Rural Development, in partnership with Windham and Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT), was able to award Ms. Davis a $7,500 Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Grant and funding from WWHT’s revolving loan fund to finance dangerous tree branch removal, construct a new roof, rehabilitate windows and ceilings, upgrade her electrical system and install the new fire and carbon monoxide detectors that would save her life. Rural Development’s 504 Rural Home Repair and Rehabilitation Grant Program is designed to ensure that senior citizens like JoAnne who have the ability and desire to continue to live in their family homes can do so with peace of mind.