USDA Announces Support for Projects to Improve Rural Housing

TEMPLE, October 19, 2012 – Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced the selection of recipients in 49 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for grants to make repairs and improve housing conditions for low- and very-low-income rural residents.

   "For many rural residents, maintaining a home with basic features such as indoor plumbing and safe electrical wiring is often unaffordable,” Tonsager said. “This program supports basic repairs to improve living conditions for rural residents with extremely limited incomes.”  

   The more than $4.4 million in funding announced today is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program. Funds are provided to intermediaries such as town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and non-profit and faith-based and community organizations. These organizations then distribute the funds to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who repair dwellings occupied by low- and very-low-income residents. Funds are not provided directly to the ultimate recipients by USDA.

   Grants may be used to make general repairs, such as installing or improving plumbing or providing or enhancing access to people with disabilities. Funds may also be used to weatherize and make homes more energy efficient. Many of the USDA grants are being leveraged with funding from additional sources. 

  “The cost of maintaining a home is challenging for many rural homeowners,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development State Director.  “This funding, available through Rural Development Housing Preservation grants, will help rural property owners make improvements to ensure their homes are decent, safe, sanitary and energy-efficient.”

  In Texas, three recipients have been awarded over $236,000 to help low- and very-low income rural homeowners eliminate safety or health challenges.  Rolling Plains Management Corporation will receive $118,277 to repair and rehabilitate 54 homes over a two year period in 25 counties with leveraged funds from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.  The City of Marble Falls will receive $100,000 to be used on 12 homes in conjunction with the Amy Young Barrier Removal Program managed by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to provide grants to persons with disabilities for home modifications necessary for accessibility and the elimination of hazardous conditions.  Community Services, Inc. will receive $18,000 to assist 5 homeowners with leveraged funds from the DOE and LIHEAP Weatherization Programs for plumbing, electrical and structural repairs required to bring houses into code compliance and for energy saving measures.    

   Please click here for a complete list of recipients that were selected to receive USDA housing preservation grants. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement. For information on other Rural Development's projects, please visit the agency's new interactive web map at: The map features program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011.

   President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

  USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $174 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.


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