Success Story
Release No.STELPRD4014823
, Jan 01, 2012 --

Community Building

USDA Assists Funding for Straw-Bale House

Outline Of Need:

Homes in Moab Utah vary, especially those that belong to low-income families. Many neighborhoods that run parallel to Moab’s Main Street consist of nothing but broken down mobile homes and trailers. In this environment where the cost of living is rising to unreachable levels, affordable housing is needed more than ever before.

How Rural Development Helped:

USDA Rural Development provided funding to assist the local non-profit group, Community Rebuilds, in constructing its second energy efficient straw-bale home. Through the 502 Direct Loan program, homeowner Laura Hagen was able to acquire financing.

The Results:

When Hagen first moved to Moab she purchased a small plot of land, thinking she could make her own temporary house to last until she could afford to purchase or build her own home. “I had a friend who lived in a bus right there,” Hagen said, gesturing to a cluttered lot southeast of her home. “The city kicked him out. That’s when I realized I couldn't live just anywhere.”

Community Rebuilds was the best option for Hagen. “I’ve always been interested in natural building and Community Rebuilds was the only group doing it.” Hagen loves her new earthen home, complete with its personalized decorative design. “I’ll be very happy staying here for the rest of my life,” she confirmed.

Emily Niehaus, Executive Director for Community Rebuilds stated at the ribbon cutting ceremony, “Community Rebuilds exists to be a mechanism for change in a way that builds on the strengths of our current construction industry so that we can build better homes and teach others how to do it. Our goals are affordability and energy-efficiency. But because we are a mechanism for change, our attention is turned to the students of our program that will carry our instruction forward.”

January 2012

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