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USDA funds for home improvement available for low-income families

The fund offers financing for those who may not qualify for traditional loans

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BAXTER — The Department of Agriculture Rural Development has funds available for very low- and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in rural areas.

The Direct Home Loan program offers financing to qualified applicants who are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as 1% 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 age 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.

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Cass and Crow Wing County residents can call 218-829-5965, extension 4, to talk to a housing specialist to see if they qualify.

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