Lexington, KY, Jul 17, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development has partnered with Frontier Housing to give a retired Jeffersonville woman the opportunity to become a homeowner at the age of 70. An open house is being held today to view the home and learn details about its energy-efficient construction.
Wanda Charles was renting when she came to Frontier Housing to see about purchasing her own home. When she moves into her new home, she will be paying less to purchase the home than when she did while renting. The home’s energy-efficient features also mean reduced utility bills, which is a tremendous benefit since Charles is retired and works part-time.
State Director Tom Fern said Rural Development provides affordable opportunities to help low and moderate income families in rural areas purchase single-family homes through its 502 Direct and Guaranteed Loan programs.
“Rural Development was pleased to collaborate with Frontier Housing to provide Ms. Charles with this beautiful energy-efficient home,” said Fern. “Rural Development’s single-family-housing programs can help finance the building of energy-efficient homes, and it is great to see the growing interest from builders and non-profit organizations in our homeownership programs.”
Rural Development offers more than homeownership programs. In February, the agency launched a pilot program to help rural borrowers refinance their mortgages to reduce their monthly payments. This initiative is part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to help middle class families, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Rural Refinance Pilot Program will operate in 19 states, including Kentucky, for homeowners who have loans that were made or guaranteed by Rural Development. These states are among those hardest hit by the downturn in the housing market, and Kentucky has more than 17,500 homeowners with loans guaranteed by USDA.
To be eligible under this pilot, borrowers must have made their mortgage payments on time for 12 consecutive months. They do not have to obtain new credit reports, property inspections or home appraisals. Refinanced loans must be at rates below the original interest rate. Terms cannot exceed 30 years. No cash out is permitted to the borrower.
USDA also provides loans and grant funds to help rural homeowners repair their homes and to assist affordable rural rental property owners repair their properties. The Secretary announced last month that USDA is accepting grant applications from qualified organizations for repairs, health, safety and accessibility improvements. The application deadline is June 25. For information on how to apply, please see page 27179 of the May 9, 2012 Federal Register or go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-05-09/html/2012-11036.htm.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in the nation's capital and nearly 500 state and local offices. 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. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of nearly $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
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, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).