Hagatna, Guam, Oct 20, 2010 -- The combination of military build-up, tourist arrivals and increased foreign investment has had a remarkable impact on Guahan's real estate market. In the residential market alone, the median price of a single family dwelling has increased over nearly 82% from $114,995 in 2003 to $210,000 in 2010.
Despite the challenge of affordability faced by many working class families in Guahan, during Fiscal Year 2010, the USDA Rural Development Office in Guahan assisted 139 families realize their dream of becoming first-time homeowners. These families received a total of over $26.8 million in mortgage funds from USDA.
Chris J. Kanazawa, State Director for USDA Rural Development Hawaii State Office, states that "Homeownership remains the foundation by which families and communities lay claim to the American dream." "USDA and the Obama Administration are working hard to provide rural families the opportunity to purchase, build and preserve a place they can call home. We are proud to offer programs that increase homeownership opportunities for rural residents of Guahan."
According to Joseph Diego, Area II Director for the Area Office in Guahan, the amount of funds invested into homeownership in Fiscal Year 2010 is significant as in no other fiscal year has the Agency invested this much into Guahan's housing market. This investment was made possible, in part, to funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. "Fiscal Year 2010 has been a historic year for Guahan. Not only has the USDA funds assisted these families become first-time homeowners through offering affordable mortgages, but just as important is the fact that over $26.8 million was invested into Guam's economy as well," stated Diego.
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. The funding is being provided through the USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Program which provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and recognized Indian tribes may qualify for assistance.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs that will support increasing economic opportunity, and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Additional information about rural programs is available at a Local USDA Rural Development Office, or on USDA's Web site at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov, or the Hawaii State Office Homepage at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/hi/.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).