Roberto Salazar, State Director of USDA, Rural De-velopment (RD) has announced applications are now being accepted for Housing Preser-vation Grant (HPG) funds for the 2002 fiscal year. Currently, New Mexico has been allocated $94,842 for this grant.

The HPG program is a competitive grant program which provides qualified public agencies, private nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities grant funds to rehabilitate homes in the rural part of the state.

The funding is intended to assist very low- and low-income homeowners who cannot afford to make major repairs to their homes. The funding can also be used to assist rental property owners and cooperative housing complexes to repair and rehabilitate their units if they agree to make such units available to low and very low-income persons.

The 90-day pre-application period began on February 25 and ends at 5 p.m. on May 28. In making the announcement, Salazar said, “It is very important that those organizations who want to apply for this program do so quickly because this will be the only time during the current fiscal year that applications under the HPG program will be taken.”

Pre-applications must be received by or postmarked on or before the closing date and pre-applications will not be accepted by fax or e-mail. Those submitting a pre-application must indicate whether the proposal is to assist individual homeowners, rental properties, or cooperative housing projects and should not combine a proposal in one pre-application.

Applications for this grant program should be forwarded to the RD Multi-Family Housing Servicing Offices in Albuquer-que or Las Cruces. To get more information about the application process, call the Albuquer-que office at 761-4974 or the Las Cruces office at 505-521-8348. Information on the application process can also be accessed at: www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs on the Internet.

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