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Homeownership Month Celebrated With Habitat Volunteer Day in Virginia

Second step from bottom (center) is Ms. Brandy Russell the Homeowner. Surrounding her are all of the Rural Development Staff that helped with the final landscaping and construction duties during the Volunteer Day held June 15th...

Second step from bottom (center) is Ms. Brandy Russell the Homeowner. Surrounding her are all of the Rural Development Staff that helped with the final landscaping and construction duties during the Volunteer Day held June 15th...

With Lucy the Habitat Wonder Dog as our mascot, a large group of Virginia Rural Development staff assisted on June 15th, in the completion of the final construction and landscaping duties for Brandy Russell’s home in Ashland, Virginia.

Her new home, also being funded by Rural Development, is almost complete and fits in perfectly in the Ashland Community, just north of Richmond. She has many plans for decorating her new home and looks forward to seeing the freshly planted grass sprout up quickly so she can begin mowing her own lawn for the very first time.

As with all Habitat Home arrangements, the homeowner is responsible for providing a certain level of “hands on” assistance in the construction of the home and Ms. Russell is no exception. “She has been out here working shoulder to shoulder with our other Habitat Staff through the entire process,” said Habitat Construction Supervisor, Garrett Augustine. He went on to add, “She has been great to work with and has really put the sweat equity hours into her new home.”

Lucy the Habitat Wonder Dog inspects Ms. Russell's new kitchen.

Lucy the Habitat Wonder Dog inspects Ms. Russell's new kitchen.

Rural Development has been working with the Hanover Habitat for Humanity for more than a year through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that helps each partner clearly understand their roles in the relationship. Typically, each home is financed by Rural Development but still completed in the Habitat tradition utilizing the homeowner’s assistance along with volunteers from the community.  As summarized by Rural Development State Director, Ellen Davis, “Our relationship with Habitat is the marriage between the biggest do-gooders and the biggest bureaucrats, but we have some of the best looking children you have ever seen.”

June is Homeownership Month.  To find out more about USDA homeownership programs click here.

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