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Repair loans are available to low-income families

April 18, 2005

Homeowners in rural areas who need repairs to their home but can't afford regular loans may be eligible for a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Rural Development loan at only 1 percent interest, according to Bonnie Rohrer, Rural Development manager for the Hagerstown office.

"These loans are only available to very low-income people," Rohrer said. "In this area, very low income is defined as about $20,650 annually, depending upon the number of people living in the household and other factors."

Home repair loans can be used for such things as repairing or replacing roof shingles, replacement of siding, installing storm doors and windows, replacing a heating system, repairing electrical and/or plumbing problems, hooking up to sewer and water systems, installing well or septic, etc., in addition to making a home more handicapped-accessible.

"Only a written promise to repay the loan is required on loans that do not exceeed $7,499. Loans above that amount require mortgage security. The maximum loan is $20,000," Rohrer said.

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Anyone interested in this program or wanting additional information can contact Rural Development's local office at 301-797-0500, ext. 4, or stop by Rural Development's office at 1260 Maryland Ave., Suite 105, Hagerstown, MD.

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