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Effective Partnering with USDA Brings a Family from Renting to Homeownership

Dr. Joe Leonard presents Clarissa Hoffman and Marcel Picotte Sr. with a housewarming plant personally provided by Maxine Moul, Nebraska State Director.

Now is the Time…and the Marcel Picotte Sr. family saw the opportunity and went for homeownership!  Dr. Joe Leonard, USDA Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, and Janie Hipp, Senior Advisor to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for Tribal Relations at USDA, joined Nebraska USDA Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul and South Dakota State Director Elsie Meeks and staff for a National Homeownership Month event at the Picottes’ family of five home in Winnebago, Nebraska. 

Dr. Leonard said, “This is an occasion worth celebrating.  It is a great achievement for the Picottes and a testament to the efforts of all of the people who partnered to make this possible.   In Nebraska last year, the direct and guaranteed housing loan programs brought homeownership to 1,254 households through $115.4 million in USDA Rural Development funding.    These numbers would not have been possible except through partnership with local organizations willing to step forward and lead.  They represent local investment, and a commitment to the long term future of the communities involved.”

Homeownership came to the Picottes through six partners: USDA Rural Development, Ho-Chunk Community Development Corporation (HC CDC), the Winnebago Tribe, HCI Construction, the Winnebago Housing and Development Commission (WHDC) and the Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) program.  Thanks to the teamwork, today the Picottes live in a three bedroom, 1,568 square foot newly built affordable ranch home.

Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul and Senior Advisor to the Secretary Janie Hipp

“Congratulations to Marcel and his family on achieving homeownership,” said Hipp.  “All the partners that came together to make this happen show what joining resources can achieve.  The partnering generated benefits beyond that of just homeownership.  This process helped generate local business and employment and helps to inspire others in the area to make their dream of owning a home come true.”

“A big thanks to all involved from beginning to closing that helped our dream of homeownership become a reality. Without the Winnebago Tribe and its programs, and especially with USDA Rural Development all of this would not have taken place,” said Marcel Picotte Sr., homeowner.

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