Bar Harbor, Maine, Jul 25, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities Programs Tammye Trevino was in Maine today to participate in a housing forum “Housing in America: Innovative Solutions to Address the Needs of Tomorrow” organized by The Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission in Partnership with the Jack Kemp Foundation. The Forum took place at the College of The Atlantic in Bar Harbor and addressed the need for affordable housing in rural areas, the importance of addressing housing challenges through a more efficient and coordinated system, and the opportunities for integrating housing with other social services.
Administrator Trevino said, “USDA Rural Development is a key leader in providing homeownership opportunities in rural areas through its Single-Family Housing Guaranteed and Direct Programs. Our agency is helping more homeowners than ever to build foundations for stronger, brighter futures for their families while strengthening local communities."
While in the area, Administrator Trevino and USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel visited the Town of Southwest Harbor Police Department and also spoke to new homeowners John Barnes and Jennifer Harry of Bar Harbor.
At the Southwest Harbor Police Department, the Administrator met with Police Chief David Chapais and Town Manager Donald LaGrange to discuss the impact USDA Rural Development Community Facility Direct Loan funds in the amount of $380,000 have had on the Town’s police station. The funds assisted the Town in renovating the building, which now has a work station for each officer, an interview/training room, extra storage space, and three times the square footage, and is now ADA compliant.
The Administrator then visited the home of John Barnes and Jennifer Harry, who have become proud homeowners thanks to a USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Loan with Machias Savings Bank and MaineHousing which also provided closing cost assistance.
Jennifer, who is from Philadelphia originally, vacationed in Maine for many years and loved it so much she decided to stay. Her first job here was on a lobster boat. John (originally from Vermont) and Jennifer met on Mount Desert Island then relocated to upstate New York so that John could go to school. As soon as he finished his education the couple came back to the area they loved so much- Bar Harbor- and found the home of their dreams- affordably. Both are employed locally, with Jennifer taking on three jobs. They are finally “home” and proud to be homeowners in Bar Harbor at long last.
One in every five Maine homeowners utilized USDA Rural Development’s Housing Programs last
year to own a home.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 69 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me.