USDA Rural Development has Programs for Flood DamageJuly 02, 2008 - TRC Programs aimed at rehabilitating homes, business planning USDA Rural Development has grant and loan funds available to assists residences and businesses damaged by the recent flooding. Since the occurrence, USDA Rural Development has been working with citizens and state, local, and other federal officials to share the type of Rural Development aid that is available. Areas that have been declared by President Bush as federal disaster areas will receive priority consideration during the application process. These are Aroostook County and parts of northern Penobscot County. USDA Rural Development State Director Michael W. Aube said, “USDA Rural Development has programs that can build a community from the ground up. Its dedicated staff will continue to work diligently to ensure that programs are reaching those in need of assistance.” USDA Rural Development can provide assistance to homeowners whose residences have been damaged by the recent flood waters. The Single Family Housing 504 Loan Program can be used for home repair or rehabilitation and provides funds at one percent interest to those who qualify (based on income eligibility). Loans can be made for up to $20,000 with a payback period of up to 20 years. (Example: A loan in the amount of $5,000 would result in a payment of approximately $23 per month). A 504 Grant Program exists for homeowners 62 years and older who qualify based on income eligibility. A Single Family Housing 502 Direct Loan is also available, which provides housing assistance to families that fall within income guidelines. This loan can be used to purchase an existing home, repair an existing home, or for construction of a new home. The amount of the loan is based on what the applicant can afford and can be up to $181,800 for 33 years. Payment subsidy is available for qualified applicants and can reduce payments to as low as one percent. Grant funds are available to rural public entities that qualify for assistance. Under the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program, grants are available for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses, and to help fund distance learning networks, adult education, and employment programs. Rural public entities (towns, communities, state agencies, and authorities), Indian tribes, and rural private non-profit corporations are eligible to apply for funding. RBEG funds are available until July 18, 2008 for presidential-designated disaster areas. USDA Rural Development also offers funds for community assistance facilities such as rural schools, libraries, daycare centers, hospitals, fire and rescue and emergency centers, fire, and police stations, public buildings, medical and assisted living centers. Assistance is also available for infrastructure such as water and waste water systems. For more information about assistance through these programs, call 1-800-352-8963 ext.161, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject: Disaster Assistance. Be sure to include your name, phone number, town in which you live, as well as program you are interested in learning more about. USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested nearly $91 billion since 2001 for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. More than 1.7 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me. Emily J. CannonPublic Affairs SpecialistUSDA Rural Development967 Illinois Avenue, Suite 4Bangor, ME 04402-0405Tel. (207) 990-9175Visit our website at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me/NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.