Housing Assistance Available to Families Affected by Storms Through USDA

By: 10/11 News; Courtesy: USDA Email
By: 10/11 News; Courtesy: USDA Email

LINCOLN, Neb. Families in rural communities that have been affected by the recent tornado disaster and severe storms may be eligible for assistance through USDA Rural Development Housing programs.

USDA Rural Development can help with low-interest loans and grants to assist very low income rural residents for home repairs for owner-occupied homeowners. Applicants cannot not exceed the income guidelines established by county and household size based on 50 percent of the county’s median household income.

The USDA repair loan may be made up to $20,000 at a 1% interest rate, with a repayment term up to 20 years. Loans of less than $7,500 may not require a mortgage against the property. The low interest rate and extended terms of the loan make repayment more affordable for households with limited income. Funds can be used to repair or replace furnaces, electrical, foundations, siding, roofing, windows, plumbing, wells, septic systems, and other health and safety hazards as well as improving and modernizing a home.

Grants may be available for applicants 62 years of age or older who have very low income and do not have repayment ability for a loan. Grant funds can only be used to remove health or safety hazards or to make a dwelling or making a home accessible for disabled household members.

USDA Rural Development also has two loan programs that provide 100% financing for home purchases at affordable rates and terms. For the Direct Loan program, Rural Development offers a fixed 3.75 percent interest rate for 33 years, but additional subsidies may be available, making interest rates as low as one percent for eligible low income applicants not exceeding 80 percent of the county’s median household income. Applicants can pre-qualify with USDA Rural Development by contacting its offices across the state.

With the Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loan program, no down payment is required and clients work with approved traditional mortgage lenders, and interest rates have typically been less than 4.75 percent. Eligibility is based on income, acceptable credit and repayment ability. Income eligibility for the GRH program can be up to the moderate income limit of 115% of the county’s median household income.

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster declared by either State or Federal Authorities, USDA Rural Development may also allow waivers for Multi-Family Housing (MFH) projects so that displaced residents may rent apartments. Owners of rental units who make their housing available for disaster evacuees and to assist displaced households in locating housing in RD financed properties may receive the waivers.

You can visit the RD’s eligibility website at the link below to find out if your income is within the program limits based on household size and county and if the property is in an eligible rural area.

Households interested in homeownership opportunities or the home repair program are encouraged to contact the local USDA Rural Development office nearest them.

You can locate an office by visiting the link below.

For more information on the MFH assistance available, please contact Kim Fehringer at the Norfolk Field Office at (402) 371-5350.


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