In the community, Local government

Federal grant geared to help low income families, seniors

ONTARIO ­– Homeowners with low incomes or who are seniors and face costly home repairs could get help through a federal grant announced last week.
Margaret Hoffmann, the Oregon director of the USDA’s Rural Development, announced Dec. 12 a $164,343 grant to Community in Action to use in Malheur and Harney counties.
“USDA Rural Development is proud to work with strong local partners like Community in Action to ensure all Oregonians have access to safe, sanitary housing,” said Hoffmann.
The grant could pay for a range of home improvements, said Kris Hurd, energy assistance/weatherization manager for Community in Action in Ontario.
“Anything from a septic system to accessibility or amenities that help someone stay in their home. The goal is to make the home safe and livable,” said Hurd.
That can mean repairing a roof or foundation, adding a walkway hand rail or weatherization.
Hurd said Community in Action received a similar grant in the past that helped more than 50 homeowners.
He cited as an example a project to help a homeowner who had no running water.
“We were able to renovate the house enough to allow for plumbing and water access,” said Hurd.
Hurd said Community in Action plans to help with repairs on at least 20 homes in the two counties.
The priority is seniors, the disabled, families with young children and low- or very low-income families said Hurd.
Hurd said the grant is combined with other funding sources to complete the repairs.
“We go in and try to do the overall audit of the house and then leverage the funding available to us,” said Hurd.
Hurd said the grant money available now. To find out more about the program, go online to or call Community in Action in Ontario at 541-889-9555.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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