- REP. MEREDITH STRANG BURGESS ALERTS HOMEOWNERS ABOUT -
USDA's LOW-COST LOANS FOR HEATING UPGRADES

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AUGUSTA State Rep. Meredith Strang Burgess (R-Cumberland) wants to be sure area residents are aware of a federal program designed to help low-income homeowners pay for new heating systems, additional insulation and replacement of doors and windows.

Those items and other expensive upgrades and repairs can qualify for loans at 1 percent interest from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development agency. With such a low interest rate, a loan of $5,000 could be repaid over 20 years for $23 per month. A $20,000 loan - the maximum loan allowed - would cost $92 a month, also over 20 years.

With heating oil selling for $3.50 or more per gallon, replacing drafty windows or switching to a more efficient central heating system can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Under the program, homeowners can update or purchase a new heating system, such as a pellet stove or an alternative heating system. They can replace doors and windows, replace or add insulation and update electrical systems. The program also makes loans to install wells and septic systems, repair house foundations and make a home handicap accessible.

Maine residents qualify for this so-called 504 direct loan program based on income and family size. In the Cumberland County region, for example, a single person making up to $23,850 is eligible and a family of four qualifies if their income is under $34,100. A seven-person household can have income up to $42,300. The income cutoffs are higher in more expensive parts of the state, such as parts of Cumberland and York counties, and are lower in less affluent areas.

Mainers interested in learning more about the program should call Rural Development staffers based in Maine at 1-800-352-8963, extension 161. Those staffers will walk applicants through the process and determine if they qualify for those low-interest loans.

 

AUGUSTA
2 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-1440
800-423-2900
 

RESIDENCE
155 Tuttle Road
Cumberland, ME 04021
207-829-6264

 

RepMeredith.StrangBurgess@Legislature.Maine.gov