News Release
Release No.STELPRD4011712
ContactTresia Webb(573) 888-2536 Ext 4
Poplar Bluff, MO, Aug 02, 2011 --

@@On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, Anita J. Dunning, Missouri State Director for USDA Rural Development, participated in a ground-breaking celebration with six individuals and families in Poplar Bluff. These individuals and families are in the beginning stages of constructing their own homes, working through the Self-Help Housing Program (SHH) administered through Rural Development and Ozark Foothills Development Association (OFDA).

The Self-Help Housing Program provides low and very-low income individual and families the opportunity to build their own homes. Technical guidance for the construction is provided through OFDA and, once construction is complete, USDA Rural Development provides a low, fixed rate, 33-year mortgage. The program participants complete approximately 65 percent of the total construction, with professional work such as site preparation and concrete being sub-contracted out. Sixty-four families in the Poplar Bluff area have successfully completed the construction and financing of their homes through the SHH Program. Ozark Foothills Development Association is seeking another grant for this program for fiscal year 2012.

“Affordable housing is vital to the strength of our rural communities. The Self-Help Housing Program is an innovative way to extend the opportunity of homeownership to Southern Missouri families who might not ordinarily have the chance to own their own home. Homeownership encourages investment and stimulates pride in Southern Missouri. I’m very proud of the progress achieved by USDA Rural Development and their many partners in this program in the Poplar Bluff area. I congratulate the new homeowners and thank our congressional delegation for its strong support of this important program,” said U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson.

“I extend congratulations to these families for completing their new houses. They make a total of 64 individuals or families that have become homeowners through the single family Self-Help Housing Program. It is the second group of families to benefit from receiving a subsidy on the land they purchased, thanks to OFDA and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program,” said Dunning.  “The dedication of the OFDA staff and the commitment of the families along with the oversight and technical assistance from Little Dixie Community Action Agency (LDCAA) is indicative of the spirit of American determination and perseverance.  If not for the "sweat equity" contributed by the participating families and OFDA staff oversight, and assistance from LDCAA, then homeownership would be out of reach.  I applaud these families for realizing the American dream of homeownership, in addition to becoming significant contributors to the growth and strength of our rural communities.”

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has utilized a variety of programs and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information regarding any of the USDA Rural Development programs is available by contacting the Poplar Bluff Rural Development Office at or by calling 573-785-9679, ext. 4. Rural Development’s web site is:

“Committed to the future of rural communities.”

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.”

To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W.,

Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).