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Success Stories
Success Story
Release No. STELPRD4021490
Printable Version  Printable Version
Jun 24, 2013 -- 

USDA Helps Single-Mother Achieve Safe and Affordable Housing in Crookston, Minn.

It wasn’t too long ago that Lucy Payment and her daughter went in search of a permanent home.

Payment and her daughter struggled with the poor living conditions of their former rental home. They were living in a house that had numerous health and safety issues, including years of built-up mold.

Out of concern for her and her daughter’s health and safety, Payment went in search of permanent housing. During her search, she found information on USDA Rural Development’s Direct Home Loan program.

Rural Development’s direct home loan program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing.

Payment decided to apply for the program and worked closely with Rural Development’s local office in Thief River Falls. Applicants work one-on-one with a local Rural Development specialist throughout the application process.

“Jane and June from the Thief River Falls office were incredibly helpful throughout the entire process,” said Payment. “Whenever I had questions, they were so willing to help me better understand things.”

With the help of her realtor and USDA Rural Development specialist, Jane Schaumburg, and technician, June Sundberg, Payment was able to find a home that fit her family’s needs.

Payment has worked for the University of Minnesota, Crookston for six and a half years and was able to find a home on the same side of town as her employer as well as her daughter’s school.

One of the best things about their new home, Payment says, is that the monthly mortgage payment is significantly less than what she was paying for her rental home.

“USDA Rural Development’s Direct Home Loan program was able to make homeownership not only a possibility, but also more affordable than my previous housing options,” said Payment. “I feel I had the most wonderful helpers ever.”

June is Homeownership Month, and Payment’s story of home ownership was one of several recognized throughout the state.

“Rural housing results in rural jobs,” said Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development State Director. “By increasing the number of homeowners in rural communities, you’re increasing the number of people that shop at local businesses and contribute to the regional economy.”

Rural Development has invested over $2 billion since 2009 to increase homeownership in rural Minnesota. In addition to the direct program, Rural Development offers a home loan guarantee program. The guarantee program is targeted at median-income individuals and families and “guarantees” loans made through traditional lenders such as banks or mortgage brokers.

To learn more about Rural Development’s home loan programs, call the area office in Thief River Falls at (218) 681-2843, ext. 4, or visit

Last Modified:11/20/2014 
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