Salt Lake City, Utah, May 14, 2014 -- USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez today toured the homes of nine Elk Ridge, Utah, families who will soon become homeowners though their participation in USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing program.
“These families represent the best of the ‘can-do’ rural spirit,” Hernandez said. “Projects like this show the great things that can be accomplished by working together.”
The houses are being constructed through Self Help Homes, which first received USDA Rural Development funding in 2000 to help 20 families build their own houses.
The nine Elk Ridge families began construction on their homes in October 2013. They are expected to be completed early next month. Hernandez added, “The timing of this project could not have been more perfect. These families will move into their homes in June when USDA and thousands of people throughout the nation will celebrate National Homeownership Month.”
USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing program requires participants to complete 65% of a home’s construction themselves. Participants apply through a local non-profit group to secure a USDA housing loan. Once approved, they work in groups to complete each other’s homes.
In fiscal year 2013, USDA Rural Development helped more than 2,700 Utah families become homeowners, including 90 through the Mutual Self-Help program.
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.