Ironton, MO, Jun 13, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Anita J. (Janie) Dunning celebrated Homeownership Month with children from Ms. Charlene Smith’s 3rd Grade and Ms. Tammy Inman’s 4th Grade classes at Arcadia Valley Elementary School. Ms. Dunning awarded prizes to the winners of the “Build A House” contest. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s event is the Department’s recognition of the importance of homeownership to strengthening the rural economy.
"For most of us, our home is more than shelter. A home is a place to build memories which are important to our development as individuals. Homes are also important to communities. Housing is one of the critical elements in attracting businesses to rural cities, towns and villages,” Dunning said. “During the month of June, we are emphasizing the significance of housing to rural America. Having the children build houses out of Popsicle sticks and pieces of cloth is more than an art project; it is a lesson in meeting a need. Through the project, we can teach children the impact quality housing has on communities and they can get a little understanding of what it takes to build a house.”
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.
In many cases, USDA housing programs are the only opportunity for rural residents to buy a home – their piece of the American dream. 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, including Missouri and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – areas that were hardest hit in the housing downturn. It has already enabled more than 5,500 homeowners to refinance $750 million in mortgages.
Anyone seeking more information about Rural Development Single or Multi-Family Housing Programs or any other USDA Rural Development program may visit the Missouri Rural Development homepage at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo or may contact the Farmington Area Office at (573) 756-6413 Extension 4.
For other examples of USDA investments in rural communities, please visit Rural Development's interactive web map at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html. The map features program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).