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USDA Awards Grants to Preserve Affordable Rural Housing

Release No. 0188.16 Contact: Jay Fletcher (202) 690-0498

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USDA Awards Grants to Preserve Affordable Rural Housing

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2016 – USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Lisa Mensah today announced grants to preserve and repair affordable housing for very-low- and low-income families living in rural areas.

"Housing Preservation Grants are an excellent source of funding to help folks keep up a safe and energy-efficient home that is in good repair," Mensah said. "This funding will go a long way toward helping maintain the value of rural residents' homes and preserve the supply of safe, affordable housing in rural America."

USDA is awarding $3.9 million in Housing Preservation Grant to 107 organizations in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and in every state except Montana and Washington.

The grants will renovate 966 rural housing units. They can be used to remove health and safety hazards, make homes more energy efficient, and modernize the units. Eligible recipients include local governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, nonprofit organizations and faith-based and community groups. They distribute the grants to homeowners and owners of multi-family rental properties or cooperative dwellings who rent to low- and very-low-income residents.

The organizations receiving the grants determine which local projects to support.

In Pennsylvania, the United Way of Western Crawford County is receiving a $22,900 grant to renovate six units. It will help low- to very-low-income homeowners repair or replace major systems such as heating, electrical, or make exterior repairs. The United Way also will make accessibility modifications.

The City of Okolona, Miss., is receiving a $24,663 grant to renovate up to 10 homes. In addition to general repairs, the city hopes to reduce overcrowding by making interior alterations and/or building room additions. Also in Mississippi, the Warren-Washington-Issaquena-Sharkey Community Action Agency is receiving a $40,000 grant to rehabilitate homes by removing lead-based paint and making weatherization and energy-efficiency improvements.

Rebuilding Together of Litchfield County, Inc. in Connecticut will continue the work it has done with prior Housing Preservation Grants. It is receiving a $46,021 grant. The organization repaired 19 homes in 2015 with a 50,000 USDA grant. It leveraged a network of volunteers and partners to replace flooring, failing windows, siding, and make 28 health, safety and accessibility improvements. The repairs allowed very-low-income, elderly homeowners to remain in their homes.

Funding for all awards is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their grant agreement.

USDA has provided $51 million in Housing Preservation Grants since the start of the Obama Administration. These grants have leveraged more than $184 million to repair and rehabilitate nearly 13,000 homes and apartments in rural communities.

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@USDARDThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website.) has invested nearly $13 billion to start or expand nearly 112,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. USDA also has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents. For more information, visit


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