The United States Department of Agriculture offers a program for low income homeowners of Colusa county.

Home Repair Loan and Grant Program is a pilot program offered by the USDA that allows for homeowners to receive assistance by helping them repair, improve and modernize homes. 

“What’s unique about the pilot program is (homeowners) can apply for the program for electrical and safety, individual wells for dried out wells, etc.,” said Sarah Marquart, public affairs officers for the USDA Rural Development office. 

In order for homeowners receive either a grant or loan they need to qualify. According to the USDA prior to applying homeowners need to own the home and lot, occupy the house, the family income must be below 50% of the area median income and unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere. 

There are certain restrictions for a homeowner to receive a loan and grant Marquart said. In addition to the income requirements homeowners have to be 62 or older to receive a grant and must be used to remove health and safety hazards.. There is a $10,000 maximum and the grant must be repaid if the property is sold in less than three years. Homeowners can receive up to $50,000 when combining the loan and grant.

Homeowners can repay loans over 20 years with a fixed interest rate of 1% the USDA said. For loans more than $25,000 a full title service and appraisal is required. Loans can be designated for repairs, improve or modernize homes or they can be used to remove health and safety hazards as well. 

“They need to make these accessibility improvements,” said Marquart. “A certainly powerful program for rural homeowners. This program has not been as heavily utilized as we would like.”

The program is funded on an ongoing basis said Marquart. The application to process will take about 45 days from the time the application was received. For more information visit www.rd.usda.gov/ca or call the local office in Oroville at (530) 534-0112.

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