Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

USDA Rural Development Offers Home Loan and Home Repair Financing on Tribal Lands


June is Homeownership Month, and USDA Rural Development is spreading the word about our home loan and home repair programs available in American Indian communities.

Rural Development values its partnerships with Minnesota's Tribes. Since 2009, we have invested over $10 million to improve housing, tribal infrastructure, community facilities and businesses in Minnesota's American Indian communities.

Rural Development funding has delivered clean water to tribal housing developments, reduced pollution through solid waste management facilities, improved healthcare by investing in hospitals and clinics, and built homeless shelters for those needing shelter.

We are very proud of the investments we have made on Minnesota's tribal lands. However, we also feel there is room for further growth.

At the Indian Housing Conference in Hinckley on June 1, I asked tribal elders and leaders to take information back to their tribes about Rural Development's home repair and home loan programs.

Rural Development offers a program to make essential home repairs such as replacing windows, fixing a roof, replacing a furnace or refurbishing siding. The program is available to low-income homeowners. Financing comes in the form of loans up to $20,000 at a one percent interest rate repayable over 20 years. Grants up to $7,500 are available to homeowners over the age of 62.

Our direct home loan program helps low-income rural residents achieve home ownership. Interest rates on Rural Development home loans may be as low as one percent after a payment subsidy. The program is targeted at low-income individuals and families unable to qualify for traditional financing.

I feel that the home loan and home repair programs have not been fully utilized on tribal lands. I am working to change that. Both programs offer tremendous opportunities to improve the overall housing environment on Minnesota's reservations. It's a great opportunity for low-income individuals or families to achieve home ownership or make needed repairs to their current homes.

To learn more about these programs, contact the Rural Development office in Bemidji at (218) 751-1942, ext. 4. A Rural Development specialist is ready to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the application process.

The Indian Housing Conference brought together tribal leaders and outside organizations to highlight successful Indian housing initiatives and discuss how we can improve Indian housing in Minnesota. I am confident that by increasing our outreach and educational efforts, the USDA can play a more prominent role in tribal housing. We look forward to working with you.

Colleen Landkamer was appointed by President Obama to serve as USDA Rural Development State Director in July of 2009.


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