Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Jun 12, 2013 -- 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.
Today USDA representatives met with 51 Realtors from Scotts Bluff, Box Butte and Garden Counties to provide training on home ownership programs offered through USDA Rural Development. USDA Rural Development has been successful in helping rural Nebraska residents to live the American dream of homeownership. While most Americans are familiar with the historic mission of USDA, many may not know that the Department plays a major role in helping to provide homeownership and home repair assistance to citizens living in rural communities.
During the last two fiscal years, USDA programs have provided almost $25 million in Scotts Bluff, Box Butte and Garden Counties for home purchases, assisting 254 families to become home owners. For Fiscal Year 2013, USDA Rural Development in Nebraska has almost $146 million available for financing home loan purchases in rural communities for the state.
USDA Rural Development has two loan programs that provide 100% financing for home purchases at affordable rates and terms. For the Direct Loan program, applicants can pre-qualify with USDA Rural Development offices. Rural Development offers a fixed 3.125% interest rate for 33 years, but additional subsidy may be available to as low as 1% for eligible applicants for low income households. With the Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loan program, clients work with traditional mortgage lenders who are approved for participation in the GRH program. Interest rates have typically been less than 4.25%.
Eligibility for both programs is based on income, acceptable credit and repayment ability and the property must be located in rural areas with populations not exceeding 20,000. You can visit the Agency eligibility website at http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov to determine if you are within the established income limit based on the size of household and county.
Housing not only provides a safe home for families, but also generates economic activity through construction jobs and results in direct real estate industry impacts relating to Realtors, banks, title companies, insurance, home furnishing sales, etc. Housing supports communities through an increased tax base and provides an available workforce. Available housing is important in bringing businesses to a community and provides a place “where jobs sleep” and allows families to live in communities where they work, and reduce energy costs.
Households interested in homeownership opportunities may contact their local USDA Rural Development office which is located at 818 Ferdinand Plaza, Suite B, Scottsbluff, NE or phone 308-632-2195. You can also visit the Agency website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne for additional program information.
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).