NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is increasing grant funding for New Mexico communities affected by wildfires. The grant money is for residents to repair their homes from wildfire damage or upgrade homes to prevent future damage.

The original $10,000 grants will increase to $36,520 for elderly low-income residents living in Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel and Valencia counties that were affected by wildfires. There is also an additional loan up to $40,000 for those living in areas with less than 20,000 residents. For more information and to apply call USDA Rural Development at (505) 761-4948 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/nm.

To qualify for the grant funding program or loan:

  • Be the homeowner and occupy the house
  • Be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere
  • Have a family income below 50 percent of the area median income
  • For grants, you must be 62 years old or older and not be able to repay a repair loan