Palau homeowners get $64K grant
Money to fund repair, rehabilitation of homes

Saturday, September 23, 2006

MONGMONG, Guam-USDA Rural Development announces that both the Palau Housing Authority, and the Hatohobei State Government have been selected to receive grant funds in the amount of $32,037 each, totaling $64,074. The grants were awarded under the USDA Rural Development Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) Program. The HPG program provides grants to sponsoring organizations for the repair or rehabilitation of low- and very low-income housing. The grants are competitive and are made available in areas where there is a concentration
of need.

According to Lorraine P. Shin, USDA Rural Development State Director for Hawaii and the Western Pacific, "Rural Development housing programs are an integral part of the Bush Administration's commitment to improve the quality of life in rural communities," said Shin. "This preservation program helps people with limited resources keep their homes, and it provides the means for rural residents of Palau to stay in their communities."

Hatohobei State will utilize the grant funds to assist six to ten families repair and/or rehabilitate their homes on the outer island of Hatohobei State. With approximately 22 households, Hatohobei State is considered to be one of the more rural and remote islands of the Republic of Palau. The Palau Housing Authority is projecting to assist eight to ten families improve their existing homes. The assistance to be provided will be for homes in the various states located on Babeldoab Island, as well as, homes located in the states of Kayangel, Peleliu and Angaur.

According to Joe Diego, Area Director for the Western Pacific, "We are pleased to have received these awards under the HPG program, which has limited funding, and are highly competitive on a nationwide basis. With the grant awards made to our community partners, USDA Rural Development will be able to reach out and have a positive impact on the neediest rural residents of the Republic of Palau."

For further information on USDA Rural Development Housing Preservation Grant Program, contact Area Director for the Western Pacific, Joe Diego, at (671) 472-7272 or Area Specialist, Bernadette J.U. Balajadia, at (671) 472-7364. (PR)