Rural Partners Network partnering for a critical issue in rural West Virginia communities

photo of residents attending a housing seminar.

Housing has become a critical issue within rural West Virginia communities and it’s vital that we partner together to help find solutions. The Rural Partners Network has been working with the town of Gassaway and the Gassaway Area Improvement Council on multiple projects to improve the area and make a direct impact for the community members. Helping to find solutions was the purpose behind a free housing seminar held on March 5, 2024, by the West Virginia Pioneer Community Network in partnership with the Gassaway Area Improvement Council and the town of Gassaway.

During the seminar, representatives from USDA Rural Development and the West Virginia Housing Development Fund provided valuable insights into various housing programs available. Attendees learned about different funding options, eligibility criteria, and the application process. The participants were afforded the opportunity to ask questions of all the panelists. 

Nashua Hammer, USDA Rural Development Area Technician, kicked off the presentations and provided information on the USDA Single Family Housing Section 504 Home Repair Grant for homeowners aged 62 or older. This great program provides funding to remove and repair health and safety hazards for very low-income applicants. 

Representatives from the West Virginia Housing Development Fund provided information on a variety of programs including the West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program, which is available to assist homeowners facing financial hardships due to COVID-19. If eligible, it can provide financial assistance to qualified mortgage or housing-related expenses. These funds can help homeowners avoid foreclosure, delinquency, default, loss of utilities, and/or displacement. 

Overall, the event was a successful opportunity for participants to hear about some of the fantastic programs available to help them on their homeowner journey. As Rocky Nutter with the Gassaway Area Improvement Council stated, “If one person has a successful application, it was worth the effort.”

Community Development Education

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