By Michael Jones, USDA Public Affairs Director, Ohio
Tammye Trevino, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities, visited Columbus, Ohio recently to participate in the sixth of 10 scheduled Self-Help Housing Forums being held around the country. Joining her on the panel were Ohio’s First Lady Frances Strickland and Ohio Rural Development State Director Tony Logan.
More than 50 participants from Ohio and surrounding states attended the forum and engaged in a free-flowing exchange of ideas to improve the administration and effectiveness of Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program.
Part of the dialogue centered on incorporating new strategies aimed at increasing nationwide participation and ultimate success in the program. Participants collectively expressed concern about the financial stability and timely distribution of the program’s funding, particularly to organizations that have documented home building experience and proven operational success.
Moderated by Mrs. Strickland, Ohio’s forum included comments from two of Ohio’s most successful Self-Help Housing Program proponents. Representatives from both the Fayette County Community Action Agency and Three Rivers Housing Corporation provided valuable input about how they’ve used the program as well as offering suggestions about adjustments they would make to help improve its operation.
Ohio’s Self-Help Program has an impressive record of helping families achieve their dream of home ownership. Since 1992 Ohio’s self-help housing organizations have used more than $22.7 million in Rural Development funding to assist 240 families join the home ownership ranks.