Okolona educates public about USDA Housing Loans, Grants

OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI) – The city of Okolona is educating the public about the financial assistance that may be available to them.

Okolona city officials want their people to know about a range of financial assistance created by the United States Department of Agriculture aimed at helping rural communities achieve quality housing through grants, loans, and loan guarantees under the Single Family Homes program.

Senior citizens are one of the biggest beneficiaries of the money that’s available.

Ms. Lucille Price has lived in her home for over 50 years. It’s time for a makeover but she says her income doesn’t allow her to afford the repairs she needs.

“I’m elderly on a fixed income, and I just don’t have the ready cash to have this work done”, said Lucille Price. “And it would really help me to keep it from falling all the way down. My carport is starting to leak down. And the top and my side porch, it has leaked in there and half of my porch top off so this would really be good for me.”

The United States Department of Agriculture offers financial assistance for homes under the Single Family Housing Program in two forms: grants and loans.

Chickasaw County Supervisor of District 3 Russell Brooks said senior citizens can take advantage of the former.

“The grant side is basically for seniors over age 62 who are on a fixed income,” Brooks said. “It’s income-driven. It’s a grant of up to $10,000 where they can do repairs to their homes. And it is helping a lot of the seniors in the area. It’s a good program to help those seniors who may need maybe roof repairs, floor repairs, and some repairs that are necessary for the basic structure of the homes. There are some loans out there at like four point two percent to build a new home. You can get those types of loans through the programs as well.”

USDA and North Mississippi officials held a forum at Okolona city hall last week, informing the public on the financial assistance available.

Okolona City Clerk, Kim Collins-Calvert understands the importance of the USDA grants available.

“It would be very beneficial for our citizens here in Chickasaw County to be able to get this loan to get the ten thousand dollars and not have to pay it back,” said Calvert. “That would be a great opportunity for them to get things done to their home they’ve been wanting to get done all along.”

As new homes are built and seasoned ones repaired, the town is set to see major improvements in affordability, accessibility, and sustainability.

Applications and other resources you may need to fill out the application can be found at the City Hall in Okolona.

Electronic versions are also available online at: www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services.

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