Success Story
Release No.STELPRD4007249
, Dec 27, 2010 --

Christopher Urwiller, a second year teacher with the Scottsbluff schools, had been a renter when he learned of an opportunity to purchase his own home. Twin Cities Development (TCD) and Scottsbluff High School (SHS) students were working on a joint project where TCD provided the lot for construction of a new home built by high school students that would soon be completed and ready for sale.

Platte Valley Mortgage (PV) utilized the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Home Ownership Loan program to assist Chris with the purchase of his first home. The program offered him the opportunity to buy a new home with no down payment and a low fixed interest rate, resulting in an affordable payment.

The partnership with TCD, PV Mortgage, Scottsbluff High School and USDA Rural Development generated benefits beyond homeownership. With the opportunity to build an actual house, enrollment in the construction class bloomed from around 20 students to 66 students. Students learned how to frame, shingle, side and finish a home. The foundation, plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) and drywall items were contracted out. By working with TCD and PV Mortgage, Chris was able to secure a purchase contract prior to completion of the home, which allowed him to pick his carpet colors, floor tile, and wood flooring to truly make the home his own.

Homeownership provided Chris an opportunity to establish roots in the community where he is already actively involved as a Physical Education teacher at Roosevelt Elementary and a coach with the Twin Cities baseball league.

TCD plans to continue the construction program with the local high school so that students can have a hands-on learning opportunity.