Local construction contractors attended a June 22nd ‘work day’ event in the Crescent Shores Subdivision in Lincoln, Delaware to tell the audience of volunteers, homeowners and federal and state officials of how the USDA Rural Development Self-Help Housing Program has kept their businesses alive.
The Self-Help Housing Program was established as a path to homeownership for very-low to low-income families, utilizing a sweat equity model. It is the only federally –funded homeownership program specifically for rural America.
The event was kicked off by Milford Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) and is the only agency in Delaware operating the Self-Help Housing Program, having assisted over 120 Self-Help families to achieve their dream of homeownership since 1998.
With the uncertainty of the housing market and the slowdown in construction projects, Steve Reynolds, owner, Drywall Complete, was referred by a friend to MHDC. Steve has enjoyed a great relationship with MHDC, stating that they make him feel like a part of the family! The best part about working on the Self-Help homes is that MHDC is always on time with a check.
Dale Dukes, owner, Dukes Lumber Company, said that this year’s theme Rural Housing, Rural Jobs makes a real, positive statement. The Dukes Lumber Company business was started in 1962 and is located on a rural back road. They supply carpet, vinyl, lumber, kitchen cabinets, house wrap among many other materials. The company has 50 employees and when the housing slowdown occurred they feared there would be layoffs or employees let go. Gaining MHDC as an account has been a blessing. They haven’t hired any additional employees, but are happy to provide jobs for the 50 they currently have. The business is located in a rural area and many of his relatives live close by the business. Mr. Dukes said that life is about relationships and they are fortunate to be with MHDC.
David Moore, President and CEO for MHDC said that they use over 40 different subcontractors in the Self-Help Housing Program that work in developments from Millsboro to Dover.
As summarized by Rural Development State Director, Jack Tarburton, “Milford Housing has always been first rate in the work that they do to support local families in their efforts towards homeownership.”
To learn more about USDA’s homeownership programs and how they can help you reach your goals, click here.