HAGERSTOWN — Homeowners in rural areas who need repairs to their homes but can’t afford regular loans may be eligible for an USDA Rural Development loan at only 1 percent interest.

Seniors, age 62 and older, may qualify for free home repairs up to $7,500 through the USDA Rural Development grant program, according to an USDA news release.

Bill McGowan, Delaware and Maryland director for USDA Rural Development, said there is a narrow window of opportunity to receive these funds.

“We are looking for lower income homeowners that need help fixing or replacing a roof, installation or repair of a septic system, replace storm doors and windows, or other repairs to correct or remove existing health, safety, sanitary, and accessibility issues,” McGowan said in the release.

Those interested may apply at any time for this program but funding may become limited after June 30, according to the release.

To be eligible to participate in the home repair program, applicants must own the home and be located in a small town or rural area with a population of 10,000 people or less. USDA must determine that the household is unable to repay a loan at regular rates and terms, according to the release.

For more information, call the Rural Development office in Hagerstown at 301-797-0500, ext. 4, or the Maryland and Delaware state office at 302-857-3595 or 800-670-6553.

More information on USDA Rural Development programs is available at www.rurdev.usda.gov/md.

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