|PARTNERSHIP FOSTERS SUSTAINABLE, AFFORDABLE, LIVABLE COMMUNITIES IN RURAL OREGON|
|, Jun 09, 2011
Outline of Need
Recognizing the connection between affordable housing and overall community sustainability in rural areas, Umpqua Community Development Corporation (CDC), soon to be known as Neighborworks Umpqua, develops housing and economic opportunity three Southwest Oregon counties.
How Rural Development Helped
Through its Mutual Self Help Housing Program, USDA Rural Development has partnered with Umpqua CDC to help low-income families achieve homeownership. Through the program, low-income residents help construct their new homes in order to offset roughly 65 percent of the costs. For each development, Umpqua CDC found a building site, coordinated with contractors, outreached to potential homebuyers, provided them training and program assistance, and coordinated with USDA. Rural Development provided the home buyers with low-interest direct home loans through the Section 502 program.
In 2010, Umpqua CDC leveraged a Rural Development Housing Preservation Grant to fund critical repairs for homes owned and occupied very-low income families. Also, Umpqua has been a key partner informing the public about other home repair assistance available through Rural Development. In addition, Rural Development has also partnered with Umpqua CDC on two low-income multi-family housing facilities, which they manage.
Through the Community Facilities program, Rural Development provided Umpqua CDC a loan of $500,000 toward the construction of their Heartwood ReSources facility, where reclaimed building materials are recycled and sold to the public.
Finally, between 2007 and 2010, Umpqua CDC was awarded four different Rural Business Enterprise Grants to assist in their efforts to encourage local business development and economic activity. These projects include small business technical assistance in Myrtle Point and Oakland; the “Think Local Umpqua” food guide; the South Douglas County Main Street Market Analysis; and the Food Enterprise Expansion in Douglas County (otherwise known as the FEEDCo project) to help local food entrepreneurs improve business knowledge, increase local food sales, foster expansion into the larger regional market, and build a more profitable, resilient agricultural sector.
In recent years, the partnership between USDA Rural Development and Umpqua CDC has allowed 36 low-income families to achieve the dream of homeownership through the Mutual Self Help Program. In addition, 25 very-low income families were able to make critical repairs to their homes and 93 families received rental assistance. The overall community has benefitted from a building materials resale facility, where families can find affordable home rehabilitation and improvement supplies while keeping tons of material out of local landfills. Through these and a number of economic development projects, USDA Rural Development and Umpqua Community Development are making strategic, comprehensive improvements to the quality of life in Southwest Oregon.
Partnership Fast Facts
Programs: Mutual Self-Help Housing, Housing Preservation Grant, Multi-Family Housing, Community Facilities Loan, Rural Business Enterprise Grant
• 36 new homes owned by lower-income families
• Home repair assistance for 25 very-low income families
• 93 units of affordable rental housing
• 1 building materials resale facility
• 4 economic development projects
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