Temple, Texas, Jun 04, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development recognizes National Homeownership Month by highlighting programs to help rural residents buy, refinance and repair homes.
“Homeownership should be an achievable dream and in many cases, USDA housing programs provide the only way for rural residents to buy a home,” said Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack. “Working with our partners in the lending community and with state and local housing authorities, we are continuing to make safe, affordable housing available to credit-worthy applicants across the nation.”
USDA, its state and federal partners, members of the housing community, lenders and communities across the country celebrate National Homeownership Month each June to bring attention to the role housing plays in the economy. This year’s theme, “USDA: Bringing Rural America Home,” underscores housing’s importance to millions of rural residents.
“USDA Rural Development is committed to providing safe, affordable housing to low-income families in rural communities throughout Texas,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development State Director. “We are proud to assist rural Texans in meeting their housing needs, a critical goal to the long term sustainability of our communities.”
USDA has helped rural residents purchase homes since 1949. Since the start of the Obama Administration, USDA Direct and Guaranteed home loan programs have helped more than 650,000 rural residents buy houses. Rural Development has programs to help people refinance USDA backed loans as well as buy homes. Programs may also provide loans and grants to help rural homeowners repair their homes and to assist affordable rural rental property owners repair their properties. In Texas alone, Rural Development has obligated over $740 million in housing loans and grants to over 5,400 rural households to date throughout fiscal year 2013.
USDA often works with partners. For example, since 2011, the USDA Rural Development Abilene Office and Mason County Habitat for Humanity have collaborated to finance three homes in Mason, Texas. Families are currently living in two of the homes, and the third is currently under construction. The Hillsboro Rural Development area office staff has been, and continues to be, on hand to assist those affected by the devastation in West, Texas. This includes providing guidance on housing assistance to those rural residents whose homes were lost or destroyed in the explosion.
USDA is providing additional support for rural housing through a pilot program enabling USDA borrowers to refinance their home loans at today’s low interest rates. Introduced in 2012 and expanded this year, the pilot is being tested in 34 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – areas that were hardest hit in the housing downturn. It has already enabled more than 5,500 USDA-backed homeowners to refinance $750 million in mortgages.
To learn more about USDA Rural Development’s Housing Programs, contact your nearest USDA Rural Development office. A list of offices and programs available throughout Texas is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/tx/.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.