Indianapolis, IN, Oct 31, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development has assisted over 5,500 rural Hoosiers purchase their own home during the past 12 months. Rural Development loans are available to eligible rural applicants and do not require a down payment.
"We increased our outreach to lenders and real estate professionals serving smaller communities and let them know that our program's fixed rate financing could help more people afford homes," said Indiana Rural Development State Director Philip G. Lehmkuhler. The agency provided more than $618 million in home financing in Indiana during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013. The GRH loans made by private lenders provide most of Rural Development's volume.
This year's funding represents the largest number of USDA Rural Development projects and dollars invested in Indiana. "Over the past five years, Indiana's Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) applications have increased 288 percent and funding totals have risen 354 percent," said Lehmkuhler, "During this period, Indiana has lost 40 percent of its Housing staff as well as closed six offices. Despite this, our employees have continued to meet these demands with their hard work and dedication to Indiana's rural communities." Funds are continually available for this program.
The demand for Single-Family Housing Direct Program loans for people with low- and very-low incomes is high and the funding is limited. Unfortunately, staff reductions limit our ability to process these loans in a timely manner. We currently have a large backlog we are working through. According to Lehmkuhler, "Now that we are into fiscal year 2014, we anticipate having ample direct loan funds to process applications for the next several months."
USDA Rural Development also provides home repair loans to very-low income rural home owners. "The loans are made at 1% for up to $20,000" Lehmkuhler said, "This program has ample funding, and we would like to use all of our available state allocation to assist Hoosiers." This year, RD's Rural Repair & Rehabilitation Loan and Grant Program funded 181 projects amounting to $1,023,761.
Home repair grants of up to $7,500 are also available to rural homeowners 62 and older who do not have the ability to repay a loan for the needed repairs. Grant funds can only be used to remove health and safety hazards or to make a home accessible.
This fiscal year saw 5,381 GRH loan approvals totaling $594,027,793. The agency's Single-Family Housing Direct Program provided $23,865,092 in funding to 217 home purchases.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs that increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested billions of federal taxpayer dollars to provide equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and community and technology infrastructure. This decade, more than 1.2 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments.
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.
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).