A homebuilding firm located in the community of Gering, a Nebraska town of about 8,000 was facing the prospect of having to lay off a significant number of workers because of the economic downturn. That’s when a neighborhood development agency, the city and USDA Rural Development got involved. Six lots were sold to the home building firm through a loan from the city, and an affordable home was built on each lot.
After the homes were completed, two local lenders used USDA Rural Development home loan guarantees provided through the Recovery Act to finance the purchase of three of the homes by local residents. Another buyer obtained a direct home loan from USDA.
Now that the first phase of the home building project is a success, the home building firm has purchased five additional lots and is planning to build homes on them.
It’s a mutually beneficial proposition: The Recovery Act through Rural Development provides funds for new home buyers, like Pastor Mendez and Bobbi Jo Ybarra-Mendez and family, the community increases its property tax base and a local builder keeps skilled staff on the job. What is most impressive was that a large number of community, financial and governmental organizations pitched in to make this a reality. When you get right down to it, that’s what the word “community” is all about.