Tunkhannock - The US Department of Agriculture Rural Development offers a Single Family Guaranteed Rural Housing Program (GRH) designed to assist low and moderate income, credit worthy families and individuals in buying existing or building new homes in rural areas. This is made possible by the department’s Rural Development’s guarantee of loans made by conventional lenders. To qualify, applicants must be under the moderate-income limit for the county in which they would live, have an acceptable credit history, and adequate and dependable income sufficient to meet all obligations. In Pike County, the maximum qualifying income for a family of four is $69,700 and $55,880 for a couple. The applicant’s income and loan repayment ability will dictate the maximum loan amount. The applicant must be the owner/occupant of the property. This program requires no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance. There is a one-time, up-front guarantee fee for program purchase loans which is currently 2.0 % of the loan amount. This fee is subject to change. Ample guaranteed housing funding is available for the current fiscal year which runs from Oct. 1, 2007 to Sept. 30, of 2008. Loans may be made for up to 100 percent of the appraised value for the purchase of a home and, in some cases, may include closing costs. There is no limit to the seller’ s contributions toward closing costs. Homebuyers may make application with participating lenders. You may call the Tunkhannock Rural Development office at 570-836-4157, ext. 4, to obtain the names of the lenders, income limits and to obtain additional information about the Guaranteed Housing Program. For more information on the programs offered by USDA Rural Development, contact the Wyoming Local Office at 570-836-4157, extension 4, or visit the Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/pa. .