BANGOR – As the state prepares for a major weekend storm, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson announced today that the Department has launched a pilot program to make it easier for rural Mainers to repair and rebuild storm-damaged homes in presidentially declared disaster areas. The pilot program covers disasters since July 18, 2022, and may include future natural disasters declared through the next two years.
“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are working hard to find solutions to help people impacted by natural disasters in rural areas,” State Director Hampson said. “Mainers deserve the resources to rebuild their homes and lives after storms and floods. Whether you’re a senior living in retirement or a young family getting started, if your home was damaged in a recent natural disaster, this pilot program may be able to help. It includes manufactured housing and offers reimbursements for emergency repairs that were already completed. Flexibilities such as these mean Rural Development can help even more low-income Mainers enjoy secure homes.”
This USDA pilot program significantly expands eligibility for people seeking Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants to repair and rebuild their homes damaged in areas of presidentially declared disasters.
As a part of this pilot, USDA is making a number of changes to the grant and loan program, including:
– Lowering the minimum age from 62 to 18 for eligible homeowners.
– Refinancing debt and reimbursing repair costs incurred as a result of the natural disaster.
– Financing costs to relocate mobile and manufactured homes.
In Maine, funding is available to homeowners in eligible rural areas affected by specific storms. Funds are available for homes damaged in presidentially declared disaster areas that occurred since July 18, 2022, including the severe storms and flooding occurring:
December 23-December 24, 2022, in Franklin, Knox, Oxford, Somerset, Waldo, and York counties;
April 30-May 1, 2023, in Franklin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Sagadahoc, and Somerset counties;
June 26, 2023 in Oxford County;
June 29, 2023, in Franklin County.
Funds may also be used in areas subject to future natural disasters in the next two years. Income restrictions apply. Applications must be submitted directly to the Rural Development State Office. For more information on how to apply, contact USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing staff at 207-990-9100, SFHMaine@USDA.gov, or visit www.rd.usda.gov/me.
Additional information is also available on page 60883 of the Sept. 6 Federal Register and page 45809 of the July 18 Federal Register.
For more resources to support rural communities seeking disaster assistance, visit www.rd.usda.gov/page/rural-development-disaster-assistance.