U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wisconsin Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced that three partner organizations are receiving $213,000 in Housing Preservation Grants for the repair and rehabilitation of housing owned or occupied by very low and low-income rural residents.

“By partnering with these Agencies, USDA is ensuring that home ownership for rural Wisconsinites is affordable when it comes to housing repairs,” Frassetto said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, we have been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Wisconsin in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

In Northwestern Wisconsin:

• Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity Inc. (HFH) in St. Croix Falls will receive a $49,000 grant to assist 25 low and very low-income homeowners to repair and rehabilitee their homes in Washburn, Burnett, Polk and Rusk Counties. This funding would complement the Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity Home Preservation, Weatherization and Critical Home Repair programs and will be leveraged with $40,000 in program donations. HFH has been partnering with USDA in this program for four years.

• Western Dairyland Inc. in Independence will receive an $114,000 grant to assist 10 very-low income homeowners in Buffalo, Clark, Trempealeau, Jackson and Eau Claire counties to renovate their homes. The USDA grant will be leveraged with $65,000 in funds through the WI Department of Administration Homebuyer & Rehabilitation program, $35,000 through the Community Development Block Grant program and $10,000 through the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program. Western Dairyland has been partnering with USDA in this program for six years.

• Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe in Bayfield will receive a $50,000 grant to assist four low and very-low income households within the boundaries of the Red Cliff Reservation in Bayfield County to renovate their homes. The USDA grant will be leveraged with $40,000 on funds through the Native American Home Rehabilitation Program Grant and $43,000 through the Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority Indian Housing Block Grant.

The Housing Preservation Grant is administered by sponsoring organizations such as state and local government entities, non-profits and federally recognized Tribes. Individual homeowners are not eligible for the program, which serves rural areas with populations of 20,000 or fewer. Rental property owners also may be eligible to receive assistance if they agree to make housing units available to low- and very low-income rural residents. Eligible expenses include repairing or replacing electrical wiring, foundations, roofs, insulation, heating and cooling systems and water and waste disposal systems. Funds also may be used to adapt homes for those with mobility or other accessibility considerations.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed Internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wi, call us at 715-345-7600 or email wi-rd-stateoffice@usda.gov.

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