Overview Of Usda Programs


Leonard Gradillas, community programs director for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently made a presentation to the Industrial Development Authority of Gila County.

The job of the USDA, Gradillas explained, is to promote and help with rural development, which includes housing, business development and public projects. Below is a brief summary on these three areas.


The Rural Development arm of the USDA offers loans with attractive terms for buyers who do not earn more that 115 percent of the median income for the area.

In northern Gila County, the median household income is $48,000, therefore, those with a household income up to $55,000 qualify for this loan program.

The loan program may finance up to 103.5 percent of the homes appraised value and does not require a down payment.

A homeowner must have a credit score of at least 600, however, if the customer does not have a credit history, there can be exceptions.

Also, the home must be owner occupied and cannot be used for income purposes.

This program was designed to help low to moderate income earners enjoy the benefits of home ownership.


The USDA offers a loan program similar to the Small Business Administration to promote business development in rural areas.

They target businesses that will provide employment and improve the economic and environmental climate.

The loan would be obtained through lending institutions, however, it would be guaranteed by the government agency.

The loans are made at market interest rates but may be easier to obtain because of the underlying government guarantee.


The public entity arm of the USDA not only offers loans, but also grants to communities and districts with a population of less than 20,000.

The USDA offers grants and loans to develop essential community facilities for public use such as water and sewer.

Small communities have a much higher probability of obtaining grants.

This should be of particular interest to the residents of Mesa del Caballo and any other small community who are faced with the same water challenges that the communities of Pine and Strawberry corrected through a water improvement district.

The interest rates quoted were in the neighborhood of 4.5 percent and may be carried for a period of up to 40 years.

If you would like more information on these programs, feel free to contact my office.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.


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