MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn., Sep 26, 2011 -- Officials from USDA Rural Development and North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity joined together on Monday to break ground on a new home in Mt. Iron with partner family Jessi Mattila, a nurse and single mother of three children.
The event celebrated the start of construction on Mattila’s first home, and also highlighted a new partnership between Habitat for Humanity and USDA Rural Development.
“Habitat for Humanity will be a valuable partner for USDA in increasing homeownership and improving existing housing in rural Minnesota,” said Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development State Director. “When finished, Jessi Mattila’s home will be a shining example of how homeownership builds sustainable rural communities. It also will demonstrate how effective partnerships and collaboration improves the lives of people living, working and raising a family in rural areas.”
Mattila is financing the home using a loan from Rural Development’s direct home loan program, which helps low-income borrowers unable to obtain traditional financing achieve homeownership. All applicants through the direct home loan program must meet credit requirements and demonstrate repayment ability.
Habitat for Humanity will be providing support to the Mattila family throughout the building process. The Habitat for Humanity home will be built according to the Minnesota Green Communities guidelines making it energy efficient and sustainable for the family. Volunteer labor to build the home will be provided through a partnership with the Mesabi Range Community & Technical College’s second year carpentry class. Mattila will work with the students to fulfill the “sweat equity” requirements of the Habitat for Humanity program giving her valuable home maintenance skills.
“This project is a wonderful opportunity to bring the Mattila family, the USDA and the Mesabi Range Community & Technical College together to build another affordable home in our community,” said Nathan Thompson, North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director.
Through its direct and guaranteed home loan programs, USDA has invested over $1 billion since 2009 to help thousands of individuals and families in rural Minnesota achieve home ownership. According to the National Association of Realtors, the sale of an existing median-priced home generates over $58,000 in economic activity. This includes over $15,000 in direct real estate industry supports, $5,000 in home furnishings, appliances and landscaping and almost $10,000 in stimulated economic activity. New home sales generate even more activity, including construction costs, materials and jobs.
For Mattila, a licensed practical nurse in Buhl, the home will provide a safe and secure place to raise her family.
“Applying for and being accepted into the Habitat for Humanity homeownership program has been a turning point for me and my family,” she said. “We are so excited to start working on our own home.”
To learn more about Rural Development’s home loan and home repair programs, call the area office in Virginia at (218) 741-3929, ext. 4, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn.
To learn more about applying to North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program call the office at (218) 749-8910 or visit www.nslchfh.org