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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.

17 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.

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