Pine Ridge, SD, Jun 12, 2013 -- Bryan Brewer, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) signed a proclamation declaring June 2013 National Homeownership Month. The signing event took place in conjunction with the Pow Wow event sponsored by the Oglala Sioux Tribe on June 7, 2013. USDA Rural Development Housing Specialist Ruth O’Neil, Chief Executive Officer for the Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing Authority Paul Iron Cloud, and Executive Director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing, Inc. Emma Pinky Clifford were on site to share the many opportunities available to qualified applications through their respective housing programs.
“USDA Rural Development is actively engaged with assisting the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in increasing homeownership opportunities in coordination with our public, private, and non-profit partners,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks. “Homeownership often leads to economic improvements, a better sense of pride in yourself and of the community.”
During this 2013 National Homeownership Month, the Oglala Sioux Tribe fully concurs with the National Homeownership Strategy and the National Partners involved with homeownership, including USDA Rural Development, who seek to increase the national homeownership rate to an all-time high.
Jointly Iron Cloud and Clifford stated, “Dedicated partners are required to meet the huge housing challenges on the Pine Ridge Reservation. We are extremely proud of our relationship with USDA Rural Development. They have always been there for us through thick and thin.”
In South Dakota, Rural Development programs helped 1,409 families to obtain homes or preserve homeownership through making essential repairs that helped them to remain in their homes last year. This fiscal year, the agency is poised to help more families than ever before, with 976 families already assisted to date. South Dakota USDA Rural Development Offices are located in Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton. Please contact our state office at 605-352-1132 for additional information.
Earlier this month, USDA Housing and Community Facilities Administrator Tammye Treviño officially kicked off homeownership month in South Dakota on Monday, June 3, 2013 with a series of events and activities in Sisseton.
In many cases, USDA housing programs are the only opportunity for rural residents to buy a home – their piece of the American dream. That dream remains the cornerstone for millions of U.S. families. President Obama said in his May 11 weekly radio address that more than 2 million families have lowered their mortgage costs by an average of $3,000 a year through his refinance program (http://www.whitehouse.gov/WeeklyAddress/2013/051113-AKQMXP/051113_WeeklyAddress.mp4).
USDA, its federal partners, members of the housing community and citizens across the country celebrate National Homeownership Month each year to bring attention to the role housing plays in the U.S. economy. This year’s theme, “USDA: Bringing Rural America Home,” underscores housing’s importance to halting the out-migration of rural residents.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
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.