WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressman Andy Harris have announced $200,000 in federal funds to repair and rehabilitate the homes of low-income residents on the Eastern Shore.

According to a news release, the grant will allow the awardees to offer homeowners grants and low-interest loans to fund critical home improvement projects, helping ensure that homes meet property and safety standards.

Each of the following awardees was granted $50,000: Maryland Rural Development Corp. of Caroline County, Rebuilding Together Kent County, Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County and Shore Up Inc. in Worcester County.

Funds were awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Housing Preservation Grant Program. The USDA awards Housing Preservation grants to organizations including nonprofits, state and local government entities for the repair or rehabilitation of housing owned or occupied by low and very-low-income rural citizens, the release states.

“During this pandemic, many Maryland families have seen their pocketbooks take a big hit, and as they struggle to keep a roof over their head, the costs of home maintenance projects are simply too high. These federal funds will allow those homeowners to make necessary repairs, improving living conditions and safety. I will continue working to ensure all Marylanders have a safe, secure place to call home,” said Van Hollen, D-Md., a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

“Especially as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens housing security and financial stability for our most vulnerable residents, critical investments into housing improvement will help ensure families on the Eastern Shore have a safe place to call home,” said Cardin, D-Md. “Projects funded by this grant will help make much-needed housing repairs for low-income families who would otherwise struggle to pay for critical improvements. Team Maryland will continue to advocate for policies to improve living conditions for Marylanders.”

“As a member of the Agriculture Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, I thank Secretary Perdue and the Rural Development office for awarding these grants to my district. These grant dollars, especially during this pandemic, will help individuals struggling to bring their properties up to code, thereby improving their financial stability and growing the value of property in the community at large. I remain committed to ensuring my rural constituency on the Eastern Shore receives the resources we need to thrive,” said Harris, R-Md.-1st.

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