Orland, Calif., Jun 19, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development celebrated National Homeownership Month today in Orland with Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) and local families building each other's homes through the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. Together the groups raised the walls on one of the homes in the Villa La Michele subdivision.
"Expanding and preserving homeownership is a key part of the foundation for stronger, more prosperous rural communities," said USDA Rural Development State Director Glenda Humiston. "In many cases, USDA housing programs provide the only way for rural residents to buy a home. Working together with our partners like CHIP, we are continuing to make safe, affordable housing available to credit-worthy applicants across the Golden State."
Dave Ferrier, Executive Director of CHIP said, "We are so proud to be a partner with USDA and local communities such as the City of Orland, in providing this tremendous opportunity for local families to work together to build a neighborhood. The Mutual Self-Help Program is the perfect way for CHIP to implement its mission of 'Helping People Help Themselves'."
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 over 23,000 rural Californians and more than 650,000 families across the nation buy houses. This year's theme, "USDA: Bringing Rural America Home," underscores housing's importance to millions of rural residents.
Families participating in USDA Rural Development's Mutual Self-Help Housing Program spend a minimum of 40 hours per week on home construction, working with 8 to 12 other families. Typical projects take from 10 to 12 months to complete all homes in the development. Upon completion, these families have new homes in a safe and secure neighborhood where they know everyone as a result of their team effort.
In addition to today's activities, USDA will celebrate National Homeownership Month at two other Self-Help Housing sites in California where USDA Rural Development funds are being put to work. On June 24, USDA Rural Development staff will join families in Sebastopol, Sonoma County for the dedication ceremony of the 34-home subdivision developed by Burbank Housing Development Corporation. The final event will be held on June 27 in Dinuba, Tulare County for a wall-raising on an 11-home subdivision developed by Self-Help Enterprises.
Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) is a 40 year old organization whose mission is to improve, expand and provide housing and related services to communities in the Northern Sacramento Valley. CHIP has constructed more than 2,300 units of housing in Northern California and the agency has been acknowledged as an innovator and leader, particularly on rural housing issues. They assist low income, rural disadvantaged, senior citizens and other persons who lack income, financial resources or the knowledge to improve or provide adequately for their housing. They promote safe, healthy, sustainable, affordable housing, community facilities and services while improving the quality of life for 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 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., S.W., 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).