Federal funds are available for housing loans, and those interested may contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office in Bowling Green to apply.

“People don’t know about this option,” said Eric Kennedy, loan assistant at the USDA Rural Development office at 975 Lovers Lane.

Kennedy said federal consolidations in recent years have changed the federal approach in disseminating the information about the loans.

“There used to be an office in every county,” he said. “Now we have one office serving several counties.”

The loans are for what are categorized as low- and very-low income residents in Kentucky.

According to a chart provided by the USDA, one person applying and meeting the very-low income standard couldn’t make more than $21,250 a year and a low-income applicant couldn’t make more than $33,950 a year to qualify. For a family of three, the very-low income limit is $27,300 and low income is $43,650.

“USDA mortgage loan programs are life savers for so many rural residents who have been unable to purchase their own homes,” Tom Fern, the state director of USDA Rural Development, said in a news release. “The Single Family Housing Direct Loan program helps improve quality of life and economic opportunity in rural Kentucky, serving our most vulnerable residents – low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities.”

According to the USDA Rural Development website, the loans may be used for: a new or existing residential property to be used as a permanent residence – closing cost and reasonable/customary expenses associated with the purchase may be included in the transaction; a site with a new or existing dwelling; repairs and rehabilitation when associated with the purchase of an existing dwelling; refinancing of eligible loans; special design features or permanently installed equipment to accommodate a household member who has a physical disability; or other uses.

In 2014, the USDA helped more than 5,000 rural Kentucky residents become homeowners by investing more than $521 million in loans, grants and technical assistance, a news release said.

The Bowling Green USDA Rural Development Office serves Allen, Butler, Logan, Simpson and Warren counties.

— For more information, contact the Bowling Green USDA Rural Development Office at 270-842-1146, ext. 105, or go to www.rd.usda.gov.

— Follow business reporter Charles A. Mason on Twitter at twitter.com/BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

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