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Rural Housing Funds Help Older Hoosiers Rehab & Repair

May 14, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - Older, low-income Hoosiers living in rural areas who can't afford home repairs may be eligible for some assistance, with programs administered through Indiana's USDA Rural Development Office.

Housing Programs Director Paul Neumann says one such program can make grants of up to $7500.

"We can do home modifications to make the home accessible, and we can do repairs that remove health or safety hazards."

Neumann says poor rural homeowners over age 62 may be able to get accessibility issues in their homes resolved with a grant. He cites just a few examples.

"Building a ramp for someone with mobility impairments, or widening doors; changing cabinets so that, you know, a wheelchair can get under it; installing grab bars in a bathroom; putting in a roll-in shower."

Neumann says the housing programs will rehab all they can with the money allotted.

"The grants are limited to $7500, so sometimes we may not able to do everything that really needs to be done on a home. But we try to at least get the major health and safety hazards."

Neumann says the easiest way to get information is by calling 317-290-3100 and selecting "Housing Programs" from the list of choices. The grant money must either be spent or committed by the end of June. He says the USDA programs are alternatives to others that offer similar services but have long waiting lists.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN