USDA expands home repair loan in preparation for weekend storm

(MGN Online)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 3:47 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The USDA has introduced a pilot program to help rural Mainers repair and rebuild homes that are damaged by severe weather.

State Director Rhiannon Hampson from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Maine announced the program on Sept. 14, 2023, in preparation for the weekend storm that is predicted to affect areas of Maine the weekend of Sept. 15-17.

The pilot program covers disasters that have occurred since July 18, 2022, and may include funding for future disasters for the next two years. The program expands eligibility for people seeking Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants by lowering the minimum age from 62 to 18 for eligible homeowners.

Additionally, the program will refinance debt, reimburse repair costs caused by natural disasters, and finance costs to relocate mobile homes. This program is expected to specifically help low-income homeowners in rural areas of Maine.

Hampson commented that the program will allow low-income Maine residents to have security in their homes. “Mainers deserve the resources to rebuild their homes and lives after storms and floods,” Hampson said in a press release. “Whether you’re a senior living in retirement or a young family getting started if your home was damaged in a recent natural disaster, this pilot program may be able to help. It includes manufactured housing and offers reimbursements for emergency repairs that were already completed.”

This funding will be available to homeowners in eligible rural areas that are affected by specific storms. To apply for funding, homeowners can submit applications to the Rural Development State Office.