Washington, Jun 06, 2011 -- Contact:
Office of Communications
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Kicks Off June Homeownership Month
USDA Events across the Country Highlight Housing’s Role in Rural Job Creation and Economic Activity
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off National Homeownership Month June 1, and highlighted the important role housing plays in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities and contributing to the economy. Since the start of the current fiscal year, which began last October 1, USDA Rural Development has financed approximately 80,000 home loans for rural residents.
“Housing drives rural economies and supports healthy rural communities,” Vilsack said. “About 50 million Americans call rural areas home, and safe, sanitary housing is a basic human need in rural America. USDA Rural Development’s housing programs do more than provide a place for families to live. They stimulate economic activity through single-family home construction, rental assistance for those who need it, and funding for eligible very-low-income homeowners to enable them to keep their dwellings in good repair.”
Vilsack said this year’s Homeownership Month theme is “Rural Housing/Rural Jobs.” Communities across the nation are holding events and activities during June to highlight USDA Rural Development’s role in providing homeownership opportunities for rural residents. Local and USDA officials will discuss the benefits of homeownership and share information on ways families can become homeowners.
“The housing industry has a direct impact on local economies...homeownership and access to safe, affordable rental housing contributes to the strength and sustainability of Wisconsin's rural communities. Rural Development housing programs create jobs, support business and real estate markets, and build equity in the future,” said USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Director Stan Gruszynski. “For over sixty years, Rural Housing Programs have been contributing to a better quality of life for families across Wisconsin's rural landscape.”
The economic impact of housing development goes far beyond home sales and construction. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the sale of an existing median-priced home ($173,000 in 2010) generates $58,529 in economic activity. This includes $15,570 in direct real estate industry support (fees for real estate agents, title companies, mortgage brokers); $5,235 in furniture, home furnishings, landscaping, etc.; and $9,987 in stimulated economic activity. New home sales generate even more economic activity, including the costs of construction materials and construction jobs, according to NAR.
Behind every one of the housing loans made in rural America is an individual story. For example, Tim and Allison Yorgey thought they would always be renters. Tim, a sixth grade teacher in Williams Bay, Wis., and Allison, a homemaker raising their three young children, had been renting for more than seven years. Beginning to research their financing options, it became apparent they would not be able to obtain conventional financing at traditional terms. Then Allison found out about USDA Rural Development’s homeownership programs. Shortly after contacting the agency, the Yorgey family found their new three-bedroom, two-bath, ranch style home and are now first-time homeowners.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 billion in loans and loan guarantees. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/wi for additional information about the agency’s programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.
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).