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USDA Assists a West Virginia Family With An Affordable Home Loan

By Gail Bennett, Public Affairs Specialist, WV USDA Rural Development On Behalf of State Director Bobby Lewis

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” and this happy young man brings meaning and life to the cliché.

Jamalyn Sexton and her three year old son, Connor, are happy new homeowners.  A celebration was held in their honor during National Homeownership Month in Elkins, West Virginia.  Federal, State and local government officials, stakeholders, lending partners, and family members were present.

Distinguished guests and speakers included staff from the office of Representative Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia Rural Development State Director Bobby Lewis and state and local officials including Elkins Mayor Duke Talbott.

Officials at USDA approved mortgage funds for low- and moderate-income homebuyers in Central Appalachia through JustChoice Lending, a regional non-profit financial intermediary backed by the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE).  Loans originated through this pilot program feature payment assistance and interest rates as low as 1 percent to ensure affordable payments.  The demonstration is the first partnership of its kind nationwide, wherein non-profit lenders are being given unprecedented access to fast-track the deployment of federal funds.  Locally, the HomeOwnership Center of Elkins is connecting homebuyers with this financing program.

In May, 2010, the first West Virginia homebuyer to benefit from the program closed on her home.  The home purchased was built by Highland Community Builders and is located in Highland Meadows, a new neighborhood located in Elkins.

USDA Rural Development has several housing programs available to rural residents. For more information click here.

Rural Development employees with West Virginia homeowners in front of their new home.  Row 1:  Connor Sexton.  Row 2 (l to r):  Penny Thaxton (Housing Specialist); Shelly Hickman (Area Specialist); Homeowner Jamalyn Sexton; and Craig Burns (Area Director).  Row 3 (l to r):  Jeff Hunt (Area Specialist); David Cain (Acting Housing Program Director); and Bobby Lewis (State Director).

Rural Development employees with West Virginia homeowners in front of their new home. Row 1: Connor Sexton. Row 2 (l to r): Penny Thaxton (Housing Specialist); Shelly Hickman (Area Specialist); Homeowner Jamalyn Sexton; and Craig Burns (Area Director). Row 3 (l to r): Jeff Hunt (Area Specialist); David Cain (Acting Housing Program Director); and Bobby Lewis (State Director).

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