USDA has funding to help buy or repair homes

Published 12:46 pm Sunday, May 20, 2018

USDA Rural Development State Director Brad Finstad announced the 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 who are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as 1 percent 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..

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Data shows that Rural Development’s home loan programs increase economic development and job creation in rural communities.

The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a 1 percent 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.

Time is limited to receive the 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 to see if you qualify.

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

For more information on single family housing, contact USDA Rural Development at 1408 21st Ave, NW Suite 3, Austin, MN 55912; or 507-437-8247, extension 4.