Home repair loans available from USDA Rural Development

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Help is available for homeowners who have suffered damages due to the recent flooding that have limited resources with which to make repairs.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development can make 1-percent home repair loans to eligible homeowners with modest incomes, said Illinois Rural Development Director Colleen Callahan.

Funds can be used for a wide range of home repairs when losses are not covered by hazard or flood insurance or when Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance is not available, including plumbing, electrical, flooring and foundation problems. Funding also can be used for repairs or replacement of damaged heating and air conditioning systems, roofs, windows and siding.

The loan limit for an individual applicant is $20,000. Loans have an interest rate of 1 percent and can be repaid over a period of up to 20 years.

The program allows the homeowner to make multiple repairs and keep payments affordable. For example, a loan of $5,000 over 20 years would cost the homeowner about $23 a month.

Homeowners with very-low income, based on the county in which they live, can apply. For example, a two-member household in La Salle County with an adjusted gross income up to $26,400 would be eligible.

A family of four with household income up to $33,000 also would be eligible. Applicants must own and occupy the home, be able to repay the loan and have an acceptable credit history.

Grants may be available to homeowners 62 or older with very low income and without the ability to repay a loan. Grant funds are limited but may be used to remove health and safety hazards or make the home accessible.

Grants have a lifetime limit of $7,500. These grants often are combined with loans to increase the amount available for repairs.

For more information, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/il.

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