LaGrange, Ga., March 8, 2023 – White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Reggie A. Taylor today to announce a $575,546 Housing Preservation Grant that will be used for home repairs that will enable energy efficiency upgrades for at least 22 low- and very-low-income Troup County families through the Better Homes Rural Troup (BHRT) program.

“From repairing leaky roofs to installing pipes that deliver cleaner water, this funding makes essential upgrades, so people’s homes are healthier, safer, and more resilient to climate change,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, our Administration is working to ensure that every family – especially those in rural and disadvantaged communities – can unlock the benefits of cleaner air, cleaner water, and safe, affordable housing.” 

“It is a privilege to serve rural Georgia with programs like the Housing Preservation Grant that work toward improving quality of life by partnering with sponsor organizations such as Groundswell,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Reggie Taylor. 

This new funding will help repair electrical wiring, build stronger foundations, replace roofs, install heating and waste disposal systems, improve insulation, make accessibility upgrades, and more. The grant will also cover labor, materials, and administrative expenses.

The BHRT program will be managed by Groundswell, Inc., in collaboration with West Georgia Star, Inc, both 501c3 nonprofit organizations. The organizations currently work in close collaboration serving low-income residents in LaGrange through the Save on Utilities Long term (SOUL) program, combining Groundswell’s energy expertise with West Georgia Star’s expertise in healthy affordable housing and resident services. 

“This Housing Preservation Grant from USDA is going to bless Troup County families working to make ends on low incomes stay in their homes, preserve their homes for future generations, and prepare their homes for energy efficiency that will reduce their utility bills, too,” commented Michelle Moore, CEO of Groundswell.

USDA’s Housing Preservation Grant program provides grants to local organizations to help repair or rehabilitate housing owned or occupied by low- and very-low-income rural citizens. Very-low-income is below 50% of area median income while low-income is 50-80% of area median income.

This program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing environmental justice and spurring economic opportunity for underserved communities, including rural areas.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.