It is a good day when we are able to reach out and directly effect the lives of people in our state.
Penny Taylor was recently divorced. Her home’s aging septic service was failing and damaging her home and yard.
Due to her limited income she was unable to afford to have the repairs done to on the system.
Not knowing where to turn she reached out to Housing Assistance Office in Hendersonville.
The HAO offers home repairs for people of low income in Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania Counties. The program is administered by the Housing Assistance Corporation in partnership with other service providers.
In 2019, Housing Assistance was able to serve 178 individuals and make 262 repairs, according to their website.
“I thought I was going to have to give up my home,” said Taylor. “I did not know what else to do.”
Working with the HAO team Taylor was able to receive a USDA Rural Development Housing Preservation Grant.
The program provides grants to sponsoring organizations for the repair or rehabilitation of housing owned or occupied by low- and very-low-income rural citizens, according to the USDA Rural Development website.
Over the course of the next few months there was a flurry of activity in Taylor’s home.
The bidding process, permits and the eventual rehab of the exterior septic system and the interior of her home all going on around this single mother of five.
The cost of the repairs would have cost upwards of $35,000 but with the assistance of USDA RD her out of pocket expenses were zero, according to Housing Assistance Office Director of Housing Rehabilitation and Home Repair David Stoneman.
Thanks to the team efforts of USDA RD and HAO this family is back to living safely in their home.
In the end aren’t we just trying to make the world a better place.
USDA will award a total of $15 million in Housing Preservation Grant Program funding in 2021. This funding will go toward the repair and rehabilitation of rural housing units.
Rental property owners may also receive assistance if they agree to make units available to low- and very-low-income families.
The Housing Assistance's Home Repair Program will only make repairs that eliminate health and safety hazards.