Rio Grande Council of Governments sponsors USDA Rural Development information meeting

By Lisa Morton

Application material and information with the USDA Rural Development Agency was available at the Culberson County Nutrition Center Tuesday.  Mary Campos, Area Technician based in El Paso, spoke individually to those in attendance about Rural Home Loans, the Individual Water and Wastewater Grants Program 101 and Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants.

The Rural Housing Service (RHS) provides loans in rural areas to eligible low- and very low-income applicants.  The loan may be to purchase existing housing, purchase and repair existing housing, purchase building site and construct a dwelling, or purchase new housing.  Rural areas include open country and places with a population of 10,000 or less, and under certain conditions, towns and cities between 10,000 and 25,000 populations.

Individual Water and Waste Water Grants (WWD) provide government funds to households residing in an area recognized as a colonia before October 1, 1989.  Grant funds may be used to connect service lines to a residence, pay utility hook-up fees, install plumbing and related fixtures, i.e. bathroom sink, bathtub, or shower, commode, kitchen sink, water heater, outside spigot, or bathroom, if lacking.

The Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants, also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program, provides loans to very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes or provides grants to elderly very low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.

Funds availability is divided equally by county. (Funds are allocated to Texas Rural Development and are available statewide.  No allocation is made at the county level.)

We received an allocation of grant funds this week. Applicants can speed up the process by obtaining bids from contractors and providing other required items as quickly as possible.

Mary Campos plans to return on a monthly basis with a schedule to follow in The Advocate.  For more information, call the El Paso USDA Rural Development office at (915) 855-1229, ext. 4.


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