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Home improvement, repair loans available

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

A federal program is offering grants and low-interest loans for low-income homeowners to repair and improve their homes.

The U.S. Agriculture Department’s Rural Development program offers loans of up to $20,000 to improve or modernize homes, according to a news release. Eligible repairs include roofing, siding, windows, septic system and furnace or air conditioning. Applicants should own the home, have acceptable credit and meet very low income guidelines.

Grants also are available to homeowners who meet very low income guidelines, are 62 years old or older and show they cannot repay the loan. Grant money of up to $7,500 can be used to address health, safety or accessibility issues for the home, the news release states.

For information, call Amy Johnson in the Oregon Rural Development office at 815-732-6127, ext. 4. The Oregon office serves Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Kane, Lee, McHenry, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties. Information also is available online at

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