The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in late July that the agency would open its Single-Family Housing Section 504 Home Repair Loans and Grants Program to all presidentially declared disaster areas as part of a pilot program aiming to increase the amount of assistance available to disaster survivors. The Section 504 program has long been part of USDA’s Rural Development work, providing loans and grants to low-income homeowners in rural areas for the purposes of home repair. The disaster recovery pilot program was initially available in just 23 states, along with American Samoa and Puerto Rico. The USDA published a correction on September 6 expanding the program to declared disaster areas. With the expansion, homeowners in rural locations that have received a disaster declaration from the administration and who live in single-family homes damaged in a disaster will be eligible to receive loans and grants for home repairs under the program.
The program has also waived requirements applying to owners of manufactured housing. Previously, owners of manufactured homes were required to pay for costs associated with moving replacement manufactured housing to the original site of their home, and individuals were required to own and occupy the site where the home was placed within one year of the applicant’s closing date. Those requirements have been removed in the pilot program, allowing program funds to be eligible for covering the cost of transportation and jettisoning the need to establish proof of ownership of a manufactured housing site.
A welcome addition to the suite of federal resources available to disaster survivors for the time being, the pilot program will conclude on July 18, 2025.
Learn more about the USDA’s Section 504 program at: https://bit.ly/3Rek4QG
Read the most recent Federal Register notice concerning the program at: https://bit.ly/45ZKlpR