WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Home Resource Fair to Highlight Available Rural Loans

Mar 9, 2015

Home loans are available for low-income households in western Illinois, many of which require little to no down payment.

Potential home buyers can get more information Tuesday during a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Home Resource Fair. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Spoon River College Community Outreach Center at 2500 E. Jackson.

This is the first informational session that has been offered in the area in several years. Diana Belknap, a rural development specialist with the USDA, said that’s because applications have been down in this region.

“I’ve been talking to the realtors and I think people in the area they just don’t think they can own a home," Belknap said. "They just don’t know about the resources out there.” 

To qualify, homes must be in a rural area like western Illinois and the family must meet income restrictions.

Information will be provided regarding:

  • Guarantee loans which are available for both low and middle income households
  • 100% financing loans that do not require a down payment
  • Down payment assistance programs
  • Low-interest loans for home repairs

Loans for home repairs through the USDA covers almost any repair under $20,000. Belknap said a lot of people on fixed incomes are eligible for these types of loans.

“We have done a lot of roofs and furnace repairs this winter,” Belknap said.

Loan applications will be available at the event and USDA workers will be on hand to answer questions.

Belknap said the event isn’t just for potential buyers and homeowners, but professional contractors and repairmen who could benefit from learning about the assistance programs available and how to get paid by them.

“For example, heating and air people, if they get someone who comes in and wants a new furnace but don’t have the funds to pay for it, they would always be able to refer them to us to see if we would be able to help them get a loan to pay for the repairs,” Belknap said.

There will also be informational sessions regarding lead based paint, country homes and septic systems, and an update on the housing market in this region.