USDA’s 504 program helps with home repair and improvements

If your home needs repairs or improvements, and you can’t get a loan elsewhere, USDA Rural Development may be able to help.
The USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Repair Loan and Grant program (504 program) provides loans to very low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes. The 504 program also provides grants to elderly very low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards. Paid insurance claims and insurance deductibles are not eligible expenses.
How do you qualify for assistance? To qualify for assistance under the 504 program, you must live in a rural area (cities or towns of 35,000 or less); own and occupy your home; be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere; have a family income below 50 percent of the area median income; and for grants, be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a loan. To qualify for a loan or grant in Fergus County, a family of four, for example, must have an adjusted income of $29,950 or less.
However, loans and grants can be combined up to $27,500 in assistance. Loans can be repaid over 20 years, with a fixed interest rate of one percent. Grants will only need to be repaid if you sell your home in less than three years after receiving the funding.
Is there a deadline to apply for assistance? No. Loans and grants are available year round as long as Rural Development has funding available. Funds are allocated on a fiscal year basis (October 1 each year).
For more information on the USDA Rural Development 504 Home Repair program, please contact Kathie Bailey, Snowy Mountain Development Corporation, at 535-2591, or contact your local Rural Development Office in Great Falls at (406) 727-7580.



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