Rural Low Income Housing Help
Low income families and individuals living in rural America stand a chance to benefit from housing programs designed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A brief overview of the programs and benefits are below.
Low Income Housing Help and Benefits
There are more than 50 programs established by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides assistance to Americans living in rural areas. These programs support the economic development of Americans by providing financing to boost their businesses while making essential services more available. This financial support comes in the form of loans and grants and is intended to help low income earners find clean, safe and affordable housing. Below are specific examples of the USDA programs offering assistance to rural families.
Single Family Direct Housing Loans
Rural dwellers of low income status have a lot to benefit from direct housing loans; this loan provides them with an opportunity to own a home. Its impact and effects cut across most, if not all, state lines in America with only a few* counties not meeting the set requirements. The USDA reviews the combined adjusted family income to existing debts and assets before granting the loans.
For residents to be eligible for this loan, they must be citizens of the U.S. and not have any federal restrictions. In addition, the applicants must show that they lack access to a good, clean, habitable place of residence and are unable to acquire a loan facility from commercial resources. The houses financed under this facility should strictly be the applicants’ primary residence.
Houses funded by the direct loan facility offers a 1% interest rate and is repayable over a 20 to 33 year period. The houses must meet state building standards though. These funds may be deployed for purchasing a new home, rebuilding, refurbishing, and also moving an existing home. Additionally, the funds may be used to put in place missing utilities like sewage.
While loans are expected to be repaid, grants do not need to be paid back unless in certain circumstances where the home is disposed of before the end of 3 years. On the other hand, if the home is sold or is no longer the primary residence, the loan must be repaid in part or in full at time of vacating the premises.
Farm Labor Home Direct Loans and Grants
This program caters specifically to farm laborers who are unable to secure funding through other means due to their citizenship status or because of the seasonal nature of their jobs. The funds cover up to 90% of the cost of purchasing a new home or renovating an existing home. The beneficiaries of this program include domestic farm laborers, on-farm processors and laborers in agriculture.
The program also offers subsidies to groups like farmer worker associations, Indian tribes, public associations and family farm corporations at a 1% interest rate over a 20 to 33 year period. The funds are intended to construct or repair homes for laborers in their regions. This facility is not restricted or limited to rural areas but can be applied in urban areas as well wherever there’s need for additional housing.
With a maximum repayment period of 25 years, this facility is only open to residents who already have USDA mortgage plans and are servicing low income tenants who are unable to meet their rental obligations. While the funding may be used to renovate the housing units, its main purpose is to serve as a barrier for tenants from spending more than 30% of their adjusted household income on rent.
Multi-family Home Rental Assistance
This program is offered to low income tenants who are existing* recipients of USDA financing, to subsidize rent paid on their homes. Being a low or non-profit program, the financing is provided in the form of vouchers to home owners to act as partial payment of rent owed.
Single-family Housing Repair Loans and Grants
Beneficiaries of this funding are either low income home owners who cannot afford to secure home improvement loans and/or permanent residents of the home and have family income below 50% of the area median income. A maximum of a $20,000 loan or $7,500 grant is allocated for home renovations or health and safety improvements for seniors.
There are similar federally funded and state administered programs that mimic this program by using their discretion to offer low interest loans and non-repayable grants to low income earners within the state.
The USDA Rural Development sector is changing lives across the country by providing subsidized financial solutions to low income rural dwellers. Since there are various programs initiated by the department, housing can be affordable, safe, clean and habitable in all states across the country.
To get started with these rural housing assistance programs, click here.