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A USDA Home Repair Grant Helps a Limited-Income Texas Homeowner Save Energy, Make Improvements

Julia Reyna was in need of assistance to repair her roof, replace the front and back doors, and replace falling sheetrock.  She manages her bills with monthly income from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and SNAP (food assistance) however this did not provide her with enough income to pay for additional expenses.

Julia is 67 years old and suffers from arthritis. The condition of her house allowed cold and rain to penetrate.  During a visit to the USDA Rural Development office in Amarillo, Julia said that her roof had been severely damaged by hail, wind, and rainstorms that are prevalent in the Texas Panhandle. Due to the roof damage, there was extensive ceiling damage in the utility room and the bedrooms. The sheetrock had fallen from the ceiling in a number of places.

The front and back doors were a major health and safety concern. The back door was comprised of a sheet of plywood fitted roughly into the doorway. The plywood was thin, un-insulated and did not provide an airtight fit. Daylight could be plainly seen at the edges of the plywood.  Due to settling of the house the front door could only be completely closed by using force.  Once it was closed completely it was very difficult to open.

USDA Rural Development was able to provide Julia with a home improvement grant to fix her roof and doors. The repairs will help significantly by keeping out the elements. The agency is currently working with Panhandle Community Services to help her make other improvements.

USDA has grant funds available to very low income homeowners who are 62 years of age or older. Funds may only be used for repairs or improvements to remove health and safety hazards, or to complete repairs to make the dwelling accessible for household members with disabilities. Other very low income homeowners may be eligible for loan funds carrying a 1 percent interest rate.  To find out more about the program click here or contact any USDA Rural Development state or area office.

Isaac Willingham, USDA Rural Development Area Specialist in Amarillo, Texas, works with Julia Reyna to assist her in making repairs to her home in Hereford, Texas by utilizing the USDA Home Repair Loan and Grant Program.

Isaac Willingham, USDA Rural Development Area Specialist in Amarillo, Texas, works with Julia Reyna to assist her in making repairs to her home in Hereford, Texas by utilizing the USDA Home Repair Loan and Grant Program.

35 Responses to “A USDA Home Repair Grant Helps a Limited-Income Texas Homeowner Save Energy, Make Improvements”

  1. john says:

    I have found that the Rural Development program at U.S.D.A.
    is an excellent program for the low income people. Keep up
    the good work.

  2. marie mcclelland says:

    Is there not any assistance for Seniors that have an income of $1,600 a Month, in this Economy it it almost impossible to make ends meet and also do repairs to a home.

  3. robert duft says:

    Best Program for people with low income.

  4. Aaron says:

    I have done some work for people operating off a grant similar to this. I am happy to see a program for the elderly. A home falling down around you is no joke.

  5. margaret spurlock says:

    My house was damaged by 2 hurricanes and now i am in need of major repairs and am on a limited fixed income I carnt aford it do you know who I can contact for help am going on 72 and a widow

  6. laura reeves says:

    does the usda only help rural homeowners? what’s up with that? i could find nothing to help my sister who lives in cleveland. maybe i didn’t spend enough time, but i didn’t want to waste my time if the help isn’t there!

  7. Harold Turner says:

    Need some serious home repairs…..

  8. debra ouellette says:

    I havr old house becoming moly falling apart terribley affecting my health, making me vert ill and aleady disable, I need a home for dog and I, I had application in town,the manager at gren manor digriminaing against my therapy dog, I have heard mold from ladt from church,she doesn,t know how it debilitates me, I amscared, I need help cleaning it out,, a healthy place to live insurance company said structural not safe , walls are sepreating,i hsve sent application in ecven other town, I could mentally live in said was too long ago, I have been swept undr rug and will die here, please help me, I have be tested for lung cancer, hope irt is not, I just want a fair chance, honet I have been abused sexually since chikd, I drank, I quit, I need a one bedroom apartment for dog and I that goes by income,sooooooon, veryt soon u can call my dr, kim don,t let me dire her , I did a lot of good in my life took care mom and dad,please I need help, not being lied to from green manor housing in town said called me 4 times is lie, and he brings his dog there on weekends, I just want safe clean, my sink is moldy not bad but rotted, heat gouds out col,d comes in, all I ask is to have at lese one bedroom apt , I can need seperatye bedroom not effiency because of traumatic, things, I need to live, I am losing my mind ready to live in camper if can get one I deserve more,

  9. julie Timmons says:

    I live in JOhnson City, Tx in a mobile home that is falling apart. It has holes, electric problems, needs doors and windows replaced. I have degenerative bone disease 3 back surgerys and 2 neck surgerys. I need major help.

  10. Jana Farmer says:

    Im a 61 year old woman liveing on a very small disability check. I have bad heart problems and degenertive disc disese and I also have severe lung problems. I have mold in my house and my foundation is crumbling and house is leaning to the east bad. Are there no places that can help me fix these things?

  11. Mary Jane Sandoval says:

    I currently reside at 101 E. Burr St., Beeville, TX 78102
    My home is desperate need of major repairs like: leaking roof, porch and outside walls need repairs; ac/heat is a problem due to no insulation in home; etc.
    Is there any grant(s) available in the State of Texas to assist with such circumstances? I live in a fixed income of about $1600 a month, 67 years old and have diagnosed with psoratic arthritis and scatic nerve disease. My mobility is not what it used to be. I’m under the care of a doctor out of Victoria for my pain. Please if you could call me and leave a message.

  12. sherrie peck says:

    The building commissioner wants to have deemed unfit for human habitation. I own my home out right there are no leans or loans on it. it needs lots of repairs, roof, walls wiring, plumbing, heating and so mush more. My granddaughter our dog, bird, and 5 cats live with me. My husband died 6 years ago. I have a monthly income of $845.99. PLEASE HELP! All I want is my house repaired /rebuilt so we have a safe dry home.

  13. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    Sherrie, thanks for your comment. In addition to home repair assistance, USDA offers financial assistance programs for the purchase of a new home, rental assistance for qualified applicants at USDA-financed rural apartment complexes, and guidance on additional sources of housing assistance available in your local area. Please contact your local USDA Rural Development single family housing programs specialist ( to discuss your options in more detail.

  14. Julie l says:

    I need a grant, to replace windows and doors in my house.i live on $1700 a month. I,m 66
    The wiring needs to be redone .i,m afraid of having a fire,I’m needing to get these repairs done
    I,m a two time cancer survivor, and have my two grandkids here also.
    Can you help me.

  15. DebbieThompson says:

    I need some home repairs done to to house I own my own home but I’m on disability witch means I’m on a fixed income the repairs I need done are bad if they don’t get fixed I will fall through the floor I’m sending this this email on my aunts behalf she worries about these repairs all the time and she is 71 she shouldn’t worry about it but I’m on disability to so I can’t get it fixed for her either can you guys help us in anyway now she don’t no I’m doing this I don’t want to get her hopes up so I gave u my email address please let me no either way thank you very much Debbie Thompson

  16. Carol Seda says:

    My husband is 61 yrs old, vet. ,. has had double knee surgery. Our home is literally falling down around us. Our chimney has pulled away from the house, our windows and doors need repaired. The wall are pulling away from the ceiling. We had our roof repaired, but now it leaks more now than before we had it fixed, and it is very spongy when you walk on it. Is there any assistance for us out there?

  17. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @Carol Seda – There may be assistance for you through USDA Rural Development’s Home Repair Loan and Grant Program! Reach out to your State office today to schedule an appointment with a Housing Specialist who can guide you through the application process.

    We hope USDA Rural Development can help you repair your house so it feels like home again.

  18. edna moran says:

    We have an income of 1700 a month. I have a child with special needs. I need to remodel n modifie my house to her needs. Will this program help me if I live in grand prairie tx.

  19. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @edna moran – USDA’s rural housing programs are limited to rural communities including small towns with less than 35,000 population apart from urbanized metropolitan areas. As you may know, Grand Prairie, Texas is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. You may qualify for assistance through the local housing and neighborhood services which receives federal housing assistance through the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). You may also qualify for a FHA federally insured mortgage for housing repairs through a local lender, known as the 203(k) program.

    We hope this information is helpful.

  20. Dennis Campbell says:

    My wife and I are retirees, attempting to live on Social Security. Our home has multiple issues, to make it more energy efficient. We are in a no flooding zone, but every time we get lots of rain, we flood.

    Here is a brief list of repairs needed:

    1. We need a concrete barrier across the back property line to stop the water.
    2. We need to replace the windows with dual pane windows that will stop the cold air.
    3. We need to replace the garage doors with insulated doors to be more energy efficient.
    4. We need to replace the sliding glass door in back for more energy effiency.
    5. We need to replace the carpet that has been soaked countless times by flooding.

    Dennis Campbell

  21. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @Dennis Campbell: There may be assistance for you through USDA Rural Development’s Home Repair Loan and Grant Program! Reach out to your State office today to schedule an appointment with a Housing Specialist who can guide you through the application process.

    We hope USDA Rural Development can help you repair your house so it feels like home again.

  22. Irving Nebor says:

    I’m 68 and social security only source of income. Just completed chemo. Have home built in 1954 and needs 3 large front windows replaced. Have estimate from Lowe’s contractor of $2,500. Any assistance would be appreciated. Have a Happly New Year.


    Iam a disabled American veteran and I live in a small town in east Texas, Gun Barrel City, Henderson county.
    My house is set on the side of a hill and whenever it rains water floods under my pier and beam house and then the floors begin to move and drywall joints in the house start separating. I have older double pane windows that you cant see through because they have mold between the panes of glass and the windows and doors are very drafty in the winter. My house is cold and drafty in the winter, and hot and humid in the summer. I have a heart condition and I cant tolerate extreme conditions so I stay indoors as much as possible.
    I would like to have some french drains put in to deter the rain from running under the house. Also I would like new windows and doors and the piers and beams leveled and checked for dry-rot and possible termite damage. I am 64 years old it is very difficult for me to breath in the Texas summer heat and in the winter I am usually confined to one or two rooms to economize on the heating and cooling costs.I am afraid that if the deterioration of my home continues my home will be unlivable before I die leaving me homeless with a mortgage left to pay . I am living on my social security disability. After I pay my monthly bills there isn’t enough left to save for major repairs that are needed for my home.I need real help soon please.
    James Actkinson

  24. Barbara Fox says:

    I’m a widow,a roof and home repairs needed, I’m 71 just lost my daughter, @ 37 raising her grandson and i have a disable son , i take care of , I was working with the state of mentally challenge , had to quit , is there any assistance I can get , I have 2000 a month , house payment 640, car payment 430, not counting all utilities, please help me !!!

  25. Cheryl says:

    I am 52 years old, living on disability (about $11,500 annually) with degenerative spine. I got caught up in the North TX tornadoes the day after Xmas. Roof, siding, fence, gutters, damaged. State Farm didn’t give me enough to repair siding, do not know where to turn at this point. State Farm said they probably will not renew policy if my house is in “such disrepair” upon renewal.

  26. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @Cheryl – so sorry for your loss. Please contact our Rural Development state office:

    We welcome the opportunity to see if it’s possible to help.

  27. Candace says:

    I feel this program is very misleading for elderly low income home owners. My grandparents are in a situation similar to the story above and the local USDA office has been jerking them around for 9 months. My grandmother has spent money she doesn’t have on the different requests that they have made. So far empty promises. I want people to beware before they go through this difficult process and get no help in the end. If you own an older home, built before 1978 and your repairs are more than $5,000 you will need to pay for a lead based testing. In our area that’s $800 to $1000. Money that my grandmother doesn’t have. We know the house has lead paint so then what? They would have to get a company in the house to remove all the lead paint. Thousands of dollars later the home owner is not any better off. Very very frustrating!!

  28. barbara fox says:

    I’m a widow 71, home needs a roof so bad and widows just lost my daughter 6mths ago raising her 14 yr old my son is 46 disable , from what I.m reading above it looks like no one will help , I had worked with the state of Tenn, 20 yrs then part-time with mentally challenge 4 yrs had to quit after her passing. Please if you can please please !!!!

  29. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @barbara fox – Hi Barbara, if USDA Rural Development is able to help we will! Please contact your local USDA Rural Development office and let them know you need help repairing your home, and they will help you find out what options you have.

  30. manuel contreras says:

    looking for some kind of help to fix my house it is an old house we are buying ,windows need to be replace,doors reastroom needs remodling and the siding outside is falling off, got 2 daughter and 2 granddaughter and my wife when it get windy we always have dust inside the house and during the winter it gets so cold inside the house,me and my wife both work be we are going through times,wife had two surgeries last year and when she got release to go back to work in February she fell off a latter and was of work for a while,trying to get some kind of help or a loan if possible ,im scared if we dont fix it,it will not be livable and we might have to move out,Thank You

  31. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @manuel contreras – Hi Manuel, if USDA Rural Development is able to help we will! Please contact your local USDA Rural Development office and let them know you need help repairing your home, and they will help you find out what options you have.

  32. katherine pinckney says:

    Hello I’m a single mother with six children and desperate. I’m looking for anyone who can help us fix up our home. I finally found something that we can afford so that we don’t have to keep moving all over the place. The roof leaks floors in some of the rooms need fixing. I don’t know how to go about getting help, I work at Burger King work 6 days a week.

  33. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @katherine pinckney – Hi Katherine, USDA Rural Development helps very-low-income individuals and families make essential repairs to a home they own with our Home Repair Program. You can watch a short video about this program. The best way to get started is by reaching out to your local USDA Rural Development Office and letting them know you’re looking for help with a home repair. Best of luck to you and your family!

  34. Jennifer says:

    Hi, I am looking for help for a friend of mine in Amarillo, Tx. Her house is paid for, but is under her husband’s name only (he is deceased) and is in need of roof repairs. She has been told that she cannot receive any help, as the house is not in her name. Is this correct? Do you know of any agencies that might be able to help? She is in her 60s and her mother, who she takes care of and lives with her, is in her 90s and are both on a fixed income of approx. $1500/month combined. Thank you.

  35. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @Jennifer – you can contact our Texas office: They can provide you info and options in your area. Here is the Amarillo office information below.

    6565 Amarillo Boulevard West, Suite C, Amarillo, TX 79106
    Phone: (806) 468-8600 Ext. 4
    Fax: (844) 325-7481

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