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Grants available for homeowners

Published: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

OREGON – Homeowners in Bureau, Carroll, Lee, Whiteside, and other northern Illinois counties can apply for home repair grants and low interest home improvement loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Money from a rural development repair loan must be used to improve or modernize homes, make them safer and more sanitary, or remove health and safety hazards. Eligible repairs include roofing, siding, windows, foundation repairs, kitchen cabinets, septic system, and furnace/air conditioning.

The maximum loan amount is $20,000. Loans can be made for a term of 20 years at 1 percent interest. Applicants need to own and occupy the home; have acceptable credit; be able to repay the loan; and meet income guidelines. A family of four in Lee County can earn up to $32,450 to qualify, while a family of four in Whiteside can earn up to $28,700.

Grants are available to applicants who meet low income guidelines; are 62 years or older; and demonstrate an inability to make loan payments. Repair grant funds have a $7,500 lifetime limit, and must be used to address health, safety, or accessibility issues at the home. Grants do not have to be repaid.

Call 815-732-6127, ext. 4, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/il for more information.

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