News Release
Release No.STELPRD4015291
ContactJamie Welch Jaro(801) 524-4324
Emily Niehaus of Moab recognized for her alternative housing nonprofit
Salt Lake City, UT, Mar 08, 2012 --

@@For immediate release


Emily Niehaus of Moab recognized for her alternative housing nonprofit

SALT LAKE CITY, March 8, 2012 – USDA Rural Development Utah State Director Dave Conine announced today that local director, Emily Niehaus, of the nonprofit Community Rebuilds, has been designated a Champion of Change by the White House. Niehaus traveled to Washington, D.C. March 7 to receive her recognition.

“The Community Rebuilds vision is a positive force for economic renewal and the restoration of our sense of community,” said Conine. “Rural Development is a proud partner in Community Rebuilds. And we are glad to have the opportunity to participate in the sustainable community rebuilding in Moab.”

Emily Niehaus, founder and executive director of Community Rebuilds, began the program with the belief that a community could be affordable and sustainable. Old, run-down and often dangerous homes in Moab are replaced with energy efficient straw-bale houses constructed by contractors interested in “natural building” and interns desiring to learn the trade.

The mission of Community Rebuilds is to build energy efficient housing through the construction of straw bale houses, provide education on sustainability through their college internship program and improve the housing conditions of the workforce with affordable housing.

Community Rebuilds partners with USDA Rural Development to provide loans to low-income families who hope to become homeowners in the city of Moab. The project has completed two straw-bale houses and is currently working on a third.

Community Rebuilds website:

Champions of Change website:

Emily Niehaus, Founder/Director Community Rebuilds

(435) 260-0501,

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. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. 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.


Contact: Jamie Welch Jaro, Public Affairs Officer, (801) 524-4324