USDA Rural Development has funding availabile for very low- and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area.

The Direct Home Loan program offers financing to qualified very low- and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as one percent 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 $40,000 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 $10,000 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used 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. Contact a USDA Rural Development Housing Specialist in your area today, to see if you qualify. 

• USDA Rural Development, 1005 High Ave. NE, Willmar, Minn. 56201-2680; (320) 235-5612, ext. 4

• USDA Rural Development

1810 30th St. NW, Ste. 3, Faribault, Minn. 55021-1843; (507) 332-7418, ext. 4

• USDA Rural Development

1424 E. College Dr., Ste. 500, Marshall Minn. 56258-2090; (507) 537-1401, ext. 4

USDA Rural Development loans and grants provide assistance that supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn.