AUSTIN, MN – USDA Rural Development State Director Brad Finstad has announced that USDA has funding available for very low- and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area.
“Our housing staff will work one-on-one to ensure quality customer service for all applicants,” Finstad said. “To help prepare potential buyers for this exciting next step, USDA requires applicants to take a homeownership education course that helps prepare them for the buying process to safeguard this important investment.”
USDA’s Direct Home Loan Program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as 1% with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. The program is available in rural communities of 20,000 people or less (Faribault, Owatonna and Northfield are eligible areas as these communites are “grandfathered” into the program).
Data shows that Rural Development’s home loan programs increase economic development and job creation in rural communities. For example, according to the National Association of Realtors, the sale of an existing median-priced home generates nearly $60,000 in local economic activity. This includes direct real estate industry supports, home furnishings, appliances and landscaping and other economic activity.
The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a 1% interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term and can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing, or replacing a furnace.
Time is limited to receive these funds. Qualified applicants have until the end of September 2018 to apply. Contact the Austin USDA Rural Development housing staff at (507) 437-8247 extension #4 today, to see if you qualify.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the “Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity” at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rural-prosperity-report.pdf.
In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the “Rural Prosperity infographic” at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rural-task-force-infographic.pdf
USDA Rural Development loans and grants provide assistance that supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn.
For more information on Single Family Housing in the following counties: Blue Earth, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Le Sueur, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Scott, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona Counties; please contact USDA Rural Development at 1408 21st Ave NW Suite 3, Austin, Minn. 55912 or (507) 437-8247 x 4.