Temple, TX – May 28, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that applications for grants are being accepted to help low- and very-low-income rural residents repair their homes.

“These grants help limited-income rural homeowners make necessary repairs and improvements for safer, healthier and more energy-efficient dwellings,” Vilsack said. “I strongly encourage all eligible organizations to apply for this funding.”

“The costs associated with maintaining a home are a challenge for many rural homeowners,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development State Director. “USDA Rural Development is proud to provide housing rehabilitation funding to help rural Texans meet and improve their housing needs, a critical component to the long term sustainability of our communities.”

USDA Rural Development is offering Housing Preservation Grants to intermediaries such as town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and non-profit and faith-based organizations. The grants are then distributed to qualified homeowners or owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low- and very-low-income residents. USDA does not provide funding directly to homeowners under this program.

Grants can be used to weatherize and repair existing structures, install or improve plumbing or provide access to people with disabilities. Housing Preservation Grants help bring job growth and stability to low-income communities while improving the living conditions of rural Americans.

For fiscal year 2012, USDA may award up to $4.1 million in competitive grants through the Housing Preservation Grant program. Applications are due June 25, 2012. For more information on how to apply, please see page 27179 of the May 9, 2012 Federal Register or view

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 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 areas.

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