By USDA Rural Development Housing Administrator Tammye Treviño
June is Homeownership month!
This year’s theme is “Protecting the American Dream.” Dozens of communities across the nation have planned events and activities throughout June to highlight their role in supporting homeownership. During June, USDA officials will highlight the benefits of homeownership and share information on ways families can remain successful homeowners. In addition to direct home loan funds, USDA also can assist in providing weatherization and energy efficiency improvements, reduce health and safety risks and improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
We assist American families each day. For example, In Missouri, newlyweds Charles and Naomi Hess heard about USDA Rural Development’s housing program through their parents. Working through the Moberly Rural Development office, the couple applied for a direct loan with funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They were able to buy a home with a monthly payment they could afford.
President Obama and USDA are committed to bringing the necessary resources to rural America provide decent, affordable housing to those who need it. As Secretary Vilsack said recently, “A strong Nation is made up of strong families, and safe, quality housing contributes greatly to rural Americans’ quality of life.”
With that in mind, USDA is reaching out to very-low income residents – residents who have traditionally made up a smaller portion of our pool of borrowers, but who are in great need of assistance in finding quality, affordable housing in their communities. It is a challenge to reach these individuals, who disproportionately reside in the poorest and most rural counties in the country. In an effort to reach these potential borrowers, I recently launched the Single-Family Housing direct loan Outreach Initiative. This program, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, places special emphasis on reaching the residents of persistent poverty counties across the country.
We are working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, State and local partners and, of course lenders, to improve the quality of housing and make it possible for rural Americans to enjoy safe, affordable and sanitary housing. As a member of the Obama Administration, it is truly a privilege to serve as the Administrator of USDA’s Rural Housing programs. I look forward to working with our partners and with the public through USDA’s State and area offices, to continue serve the residents of rural America.
Left to right: USDA Rural Development staff Michelle Hoffman, Amy Milburn and Wylie Chandler stand in front of a home being constructed with USDA funding support.