June is homownership month and you could say the Nevada heat drove everyone under the tent together. With mercury touching 103 degrees, the tent at the Color Country Self-Help Housing development in Mesquite, Nevada, was a good source of shade, but it could not chill the sense of pride and excitement that pulsed through the crowd.
Tammye Trevino, Housing Administrator for USDA Rural Development remained cool, shaking hands with the five new families who just broke ground to start work on their new homes, and the six families who had just completed their new homes. She and Nevada Rural Development State Director Sarah Adler went the extra mile to Mesquite to talk about the Rural Refinance Pilot Program, which gives current USDA homeowners an opportunity to refinance their mortgages at a lower interest rate, and to celebrate responsible hardworking families like those at this sweltering event in front of the Thornley residence.
The Thornley family opened their home for community event. With kids in the bounce house in their front yard, and hot dogs on the grill, even the heat couldn’t melt the enthusiasm.
Jody and Cody Thorne are themselves an amazing couple who have dedicated themselves to children. Two of their children are handicapped, and the new home they have built themselves with funding from USDA Rural Development now has subtly widened doorways and handicapped accessible bathrooms, and there is a paved backyard patio to come, which will make all the difference for them and their kids.
The Scout leader mom personally laid the front entry way with small bits of tile into a fleur de lis in tribute to Boy Scouts. “I never thought I would get it done, it was the last thing I did,” she says proudly.
Juan Muro and Juana Salas and their two daughters celebrated along with grandma. The smiles that were wide as Juan turned the shovel to begin his family’s new home grew even bigger when Administrator Trevino encouraged them onward with a short speech in Spanish about the value and importance of responsible homeownership.
Color Country Executive Director Ty Tibbets put it perfectly when he said the spirit of Mutual Self-Help Housing and the families and partners it engages is captured in one short expression: “Carpe Diem – Seize the Day!“
To find out how USDA can help you become a rural homeowner click here.