Dinuba, Calif., Jun 27, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development celebrated National Homeownership Month today in Dinuba with Self-Help Enterprises and eleven local families building each other's homes through the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program.
"Ensuring rural families have access to affordable homeownership opportunities is just one key to a strong, prosperous rural community," said USDA Rural Development State Director Glenda Humiston. "In many cases, programs such as USDA's Mutual Self-Help Housing Program are the only option for rural residents to buy a home. That is why we are so proud to celebrate National Homeownership Month with Self-Help Enterprises and the dozen families working so hard to realize their dreams of homeownership."
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. Construction on the homes began on May 2, 2013.
The families received extra assistance recently from a group of teenage volunteers from La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, Ariz. Together with the families, the youth helped frame homes and bring everyone one step closer to completion.
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.
Earlier this month USDA celebrated National Homeownership Month at two other Self-Help Housing sites in California where USDA Rural Development funds are being put to work in rural communities. On June 19, USDA Rural Development staff joined families in Orland, Glenn County for a wall-raising at a 50-home subdivision developed by Community Housing Improvement Program. And on June 24 in Sebastopol, Sonoma County staff celebrated with a dedication ceremony of a 34-home subdivision developed by Burbank Housing Development Corporation.
Self-Help Enterprises is a nonprofit organization formed in 1965 to improve the living conditions of low income families in the San Joaquin Valley. It is the pioneering organization of mutual self-help housing nationally and soon will surpass the milestone of 6,000 homes built since inception of the program. The organization also develops affordable rental housing, works in rural communities to address infrastructure needs, provides housing counseling services, and partners with small cities and counties to address other housing issues.
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., 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).