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GREENWICH — U.S. Department of Agriculture funds are available to help rural residents of eastern New York buy or repair single-family homes.

Funding is available through two Rural Development housing programs; the Home Repair program and the Guaranteed and Direct Loan program.

The Guaranteed Loan program assists lenders extend mortgages with affordable terms to low and moderate income home buyers. Rural Development guarantees the loan, thereby reducing the lender’s risk and enabling them to provide financing at more favorable rates and terms. Guaranteed loans can be made on either a new or existing home for up to 100 percent of the appraised value.

Under the Direct Loan program, applicants apply directly to USDA for loan assistance. No down payment is required and applicants may be eligible for payment assistance, which subsidizes the interest portion of the mortgage, lowering the overall monthly payment amount.

The Home Repair program offers very-low income homeowners loans and grants to make general home repairs or modifications, which may improve or modernize a home. The interest rate on these loans is one percent and the maximum term is 20 years. Applicants may obtain multiple loans, with a maximum outstanding loan amount at a given time of $20,000. Grants are available to very-low income homeowners age 62 or older who cannot afford a loan. Grants are limited to a lifetime assistance of $7,500 and must be used to remove health and safety hazards or make a home more handicap accessible.

For more information on these programs and how to apply, please contact Doreen Rabine, at 692-9940 ext. 4.

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