Government Home Repair Grants in Rural Areas
Federal Grants and Loans are available to individuals in rural areas through the Department of Agriculture's
"Rural Development Housing & Community Facilities Programs". The Single-Family Housing Program provides home ownership opportunities to low and moderate-income rural Americans through several loan, and guarantee programs. The program also makes funding available to individuals to finance vital improvements necessary to make their homes decent, safe, and sanitary.
Direct Loan Program (Section 502)
Under the Direct Loan program, individuals or families receive direct financial assistance directly from the Housing and Community Facilities Programs in the form of a home loan at an affordable interest rate. Most of the loans made under the Direct Loan Program are to families with income below 80% of the median income level in the communities where they live. Since HCFP is able to make loans to those who will not qualify for a conventional loan, the HCFP Direct Loan program enables many more people to buy homes than might otherwise be possible. Direct loans may be made for the purchase of an existing home or for new home construction. Under the Guaranteed Loan program, the Housing and Community Facilities Programs guarantees loans made by private sector lenders. (A loan guarantee through HCFP means that, should the individual borrower default on the loan, HCFP will pay the private financier for the loan.) The individual works with the private lender and makes his or her payments to that lender.
Under the terms of the program, an individual or family may borrow up to 100% of the appraised value of the home, which eliminates the need for a down payment. Since a common barrier to owning a home for many low-income people is the lack of funds to make a down payment, the availability of the loan guarantees from HCFP makes the reality of owning a home available to a much larger percentage of Americans.
Mutual Self-Help Housing Program (Section 523)
The Mutual Self-Help Housing Program makes homes affordable by enabling future homeowners to work on homes themselves. With this investment in the home, or "sweat equity", each homeowner pays less for his or her home. Each qualified applicant is required to complete 65% of the work to build his or her own home.
Home Repair Loan and Grant Program (Section 504)
For very low income families who own homes in need of repair, the Home Repair Loan and Grant Program offers funding for renovation. The Home Repair Program also provides funds to make a home accessible to someone with disabilities. Money may be provided, for example, to repair a leaking roof; to replace a wood stove with central heating; to construct a front-door ramp for someone using a wheelchair; or to replace an outhouse and pump with running water, a bathroom, and a waste disposal system. Homeowners 62 years and older are eligible for home improvement grants. Other low income families and individuals receive loans at a 1% interest rate directly from HCFP.
For eligibility requirements and application instructions visit the
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