USDA announces funding to improve rural housing
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that two entities in Kansas will receive grants to make housing repairs and improve housing conditions for limited income rural residents.
“Providing safe, reliable housing to rural residents is key to maintaining stable communities and creating jobs,” said acting Undersecretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien. “USDA has developed strategic partnerships with Tribes, community organizations and nonprofit groups to improve the living conditions for thousands of rural residents.”
Funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grant program. Funds are provided to intermediaries such as local governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes, and non-profit, faith-based and community organizations. These organizations then distribute the grants to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low- and very-low-income residents. Funds are not directly provided to eligible homeowners by USDA.
In Kansas, USDA Rural Development provided two $25,000 Housing Preservation Grants. The Coffey County Housing Authority and the City of Mankato were awarded grants to assist low and very-low income residents make essential repairs to their homes.
“We hope to be able to repair approximately 16 homes in Coffey County,” said Ronda Gilbert, executive director of the Coffey County Housing Authority. “Some of the home repairs that the housing authority will be able to assist with are new roofs, window repairs, electric upgrades and foundation maintenance.”
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 make homes more energy efficient.