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USDA announces rural improvement grants

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grants are available to help rural homes become more energy efficient.
Grants are available to help rural homes become more energy efficient.

Rural areas that often see farm equipment rolling through fields may also benefit from funds announced recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The money will help improve low-income housing through grants to 163 recipients. The funds will be used to make repairs to buildings, including increasing accessibility for disabled individuals.

Weatherization and energy-efficiency projects can also be funded with the money, which is part of the USDA's Housing Preservation Grants program.

"The Obama administration is working to ensure that rural homeowners have safe, sanitary, energy-efficient places to live, and USDA is working with community organizations and non-profit groups to help people make needed repairs," Vilsack said.

Grant funds are administered through the USDA's Rural Development arm, which works to improve the quality of life in rural areas. Its development portfolio amounts to $142 billion, which includes loans and guarantees.

Other programs administered by the USDA can help farm equipment users who have faced losses tied to natural disasters, including flooding, droughts or other forms of crop damage. Interested producers can contact their local Farm Service Agency office for more information.

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