USDA Rural Development resources available to Tornado Victims
June 14, 2010: USDA Rural Development has a history of assisting rural communities in need. While it has no programs specifically designed for emergencies or natural disasters, USDA Rural Development does provide affordable financing that can assist communities and individuals, who suffered damage from the recent tornados that swept through parts of rural Northwest Ohio.
Rural Development’s grants and loans may not be the first source for financial relief for Ohio’s devastated rural communities, but the agency’s assistance can be a part of a community’s longer term rebuilding process. Rural Development can pick up where and when other agencies leave off.
USDA Rural Development State Director Tony Logan, Community Program Director David Douglas and Findlay Office Area Director Chris Spellmire toured tornado- ravaged areas of NW Ohio on Friday, June 11 along with Senator Sherrod Brown. Local facilities which were destroyed in Lake Township, Wood County, included the local high school, police station and dozens of single family houses.
Millbury was also heavily hit.
Grants and loans are available to help communities repair damage to facilities such as libraries, childcare centers, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, and public buildings needed to ensure the health and safety of residents.
Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) are available to non-profit corporations and governmental bodies and authorities to help small businesses recover from the impact of the tornado. The funds can be used to assist with clean up, rebuilding and repairing of industrial parks and other commercial areas, including downtown business districts.
Funds are also available to these groups to establish or re-capitalize revolving loan programs that re-lend money to individual businesses at favorable rates.
Additional assistance is available to home owners eligible for Individual Assistance through Rural Development’s single family housing loan and grant programs. Low cost funds are available for housing purchases and repairs. Individuals needing payment assistance on their existing USDA Rural Development single family loans are encouraged to contact the Centralized Servicing Center at (800) 414-1226.
Assistance is also available for temporary rental housing in counties declared by FEMA as eligible for Individual Assistance. Priority can be given for rental units at properties already financed by Rural Development to those who have been displaced from their home due to the disaster.
Rural Development can make loans of up to $20,000 at one percent interest to be repaid over 20 years. Eligible home owners with very modest incomes can get help to rebuild or repair their homes. If those homeowners are at least 62 years of age, they may qualify for a grant to pay for repairs.
Rural Development field offices can help determine what Rural Development resources are available to help. Inquiries from Fulton, Ottawa and Wood Counties should contact the Findlay office at (419) 422-0242 ext. 100.
More information on USDA Rural Development is available on the web at www.rurdev.usda.gov/oh. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.