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2015-09-03

'Home Safe Home'

By Tony Hernandez

By Tony Hernandez
Rural Housing Service Administrator &
Tom Hannah
Texas Acting State Director

Some say the electric feeling of buying and moving into your own home never wears off. When you own the floors you're standing on, the walls surrounding you and the roof over your head, you also own great satisfaction from the hard work that resulted in your home becoming yours.
Yet, just as it was hard work to achieve the American Dream of homeownership, being responsible for maintaining and, inevitably, repairing your own home can be just as much hard work. USDA Rural Development's Home Repair Program is an affordable way to keep your home safe, accessible and energy efficient.
The program provides very-low income rural homeowners with a one percent-interest fixed-rate loan of up to $20,000 for essential things like leaky roof repairs, improving accessibility or even upgrades to heating and cooling systems to make a home more energy efficient.
Seniors age 62 and older, who cannot qualify for a loan, may be eligible for a grant of up to $7,500, or a loan and grant combination to make needed repairs and improvements.
Last year alone, this program enabled 398 rural Texas homeowners to make necessary improvements to their homes they did not realize they could afford. Some installed new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or replaced old insulation. Some widened doors and added ramps. More importantly, these Texans renewed the pride they felt the day they bought and moved into their own home.
One recipient from Farmersville installed handicap ramp and railings with a 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant.
Just a few months, after a second loan and grant was approved, she installed a new handicap bathtub. USDA Rural Development employees in Texas make extra efforts to assist all eligible homeowners with their home repair needs.
USDA Rural Development helps keep rural American homes safe, accessible and energy efficient and allows homeowners tp preserve the pride in their homes. To learn more, visit www.rd.usda.gov/tx or call 254-742-9770.