The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has funding available for very low- and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area.

USDA’s Direct Home Loan Program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as one percent with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. Generally, rural areas with a population less than 35,000 are eligible.

The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a one percent interest rate, repayable for up to 20 years. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 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.

Contact a USDA Rural Development to see if you qualify.

For more information in the following counties: Beltrami, Clearwater, Itasca, Koochiching and Lake of the Woods counties; contact USDA Rural Development at 3217 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji, MN 56601 or 218-751-1942, ext. 4. Also visit USDA’s website at

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