Funding available to help low-income people buy, repair homes

WORTHINGTON — USDA Rural Development has funding available through its direct home loan program for very low- and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area. Applicants must be unable to qualify for traditional financing.

No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as 1% with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability.

The program is available in rural communities of generally 35,000 people or less.

The maximum loan amount is $20,000 at a 1% interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term, and

can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing, or replacing a furnace.

Time is limited to receive funds for the current fiscal year. Visit a housing specialist at USDA Rural Development, 1567 McMillan St., Suite 2, Worthington, or call 372-7783 to see about qualifying. For more information, visit