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USDA funding available for low-income families

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has funding available for very low-and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area.

USDA requires applicants to take a homeownership education course that will inform them of the buying process, said Acting State Director Mike Navin.

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.

The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a 1 percent interest rate, repayable for up to 20 years. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing, or replacing a furnace.

Time is limited to receive these funds. Qualified applicants have until the end of September 2017 to apply. Contact a USDA Rural Development employee today in your area to see if you qualify.

For more information in the following counties: Blue Earth, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Le Sueur, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Scott, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona counties, contact USDA Rural Development at 1408 21st Ave. NW Suite 3, Austin, MN 55912 or 507-437-8247 x 4.

You can also visit USDA’s website at http://www.rd.usda.gov/mn” www.rd.usda.gov/mn.