Aid For Some Ruidoso Fire Victims

Ruidoso – USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner announced today that anyone who has a low to moderate income and has had fire damage to their homes from the White fire near Ruidoso may apply for federal funds to offset costs to rebuild or remodel their homes.

Brunner said, "We know that we may not be able to help each of the families affected by the White fire, but we want to make sure that the public knows that the federal government is in a position to provide financial support to low to moderate income families to repair, rebuild or buy a home."

Through its regular housing programs, USDA Rural Development can provide financial support to purchase or repair a home. The direct home loan program was created to help low income residents to buy a house. Rural Development's Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loan program is designed to provide moderate income families with an affordable home loan with no money down. Rural Development also administers a loan and grant program to help very low-income rural residents who own and occupy a home in need of repairs. The funds can be used to improve or modernize a home, or to remove health and safety hazards. This loan is a 1% loan that may be repaid over a 20-year period.

To apply for one of the 504 repair loans, homeowner-occupants must be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere and must have a very low income. Very low income is defined as below 50 percent of the area median income. Grants are only available to homeowners who are 62 years old or older and cannot repay a Section 504 loan.

A real estate mortgage and full title services are required for loans of $7,500 or more. Grants have to be repaid if the property is sold in less than 3 years. Grant funds may only be used to pay for repairs and improvements resulting in the removal of health and safety hazards. A grant/loan combination is made if the applicant can repay part of the cost. Loans and grants can be combined for up to $27,500 in assistance.

Brunner also encouraged any of the fire victims or any other person in the Ruidoso area who are interested in this financial help to call the Rural Development office in Roswell at 575-622-8745 extension 4 during business hours to set-up a meeting.

Those applying for the 504 rehabilitation funds will be asked to bring the following information to a meeting with Rural Development staff:

Warranty deed

Verification of Income

Cost estimates

Proof of age for grant (62 years or older)

List of debts presently being paid and account numbers and addresses of accounts

Checking and savings account numbers

Photo Id

Income tax records for most recently filed income tax

Property tax information

USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at