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USDA Housing Preservation Grants

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USDA Housing Preservation Grants (also called Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants) provide money to organizations for the rehabilitation of tribal or rural housing for low income families (50-80% of the Area Median Income) or very low-income families (less than 50% of the Area Median Income).1 This grant program defines rural areas as towns or jurisdictions with no more than 20,000 people. State and local governments, as well as non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.2 The national total for the grant allocation is up to $10 million.3 Amounts requested during the 2018 application process can be seen here. If you are unsure about whether a property may be eligible, click here to check.

The grant is designated for properties owned by low or very low income individuals, or rental properties where the landlord agrees to rent to low or very low income households.4 The money can be used for various housing preservation activities (full list here) including the installation of energy conservation measures, roof replacement, relocation costs, and for the removal of health and safety hazards to bring properties in compliance with federal and local codes. Thus, lead hazard remediation can be included as part of the renovation process for Housing Preservation Grants (HPG). In addition, in 2011 the USDA entered into a memorandum of understanding with EPA to promote rural water and water system infrastructure sustainability through Rural Housing Preservation Funding, which can include support for lead service line replacement, and addressing lead hazards in private well water or other systems in rural jurisdictions.

Example: In 2016, the Warren-Washington-Issaquena-Sharkey Community Action Agency in Mississippi utilized $40,000 in HPG grant funding in 2016 to remove lead-based paint hazards and perform weatherization and energy efficiency improvements in homes in the project’s target area.5

Strategic Implementation

Applications for this grant are open once per year.6 When the application window is open, a Notice of Solicitation of Applications will be published in the Federal Register with instructions on how to submit an application. The application must specify how the applicant proposes to use the grant funds and indicate the type of assistance that would be needed.7 If you would like further information about this grant you can contact your Rural Development State Office, listed here.8

Toolkit Information

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