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Secretary’s Column: Helping Families Achieve the Dream of Homeownership

Throughout the month of June, USDA will celebrate National Homeownership Month with a renewed commitment to providing safe, affordable housing in our small towns and rural communities.

Our theme for this year’s Homeownership Month is “Bringing Rural America Home”.  When families can find a good place to live in rural America, they’ll stay there. They’ll invest in their community and help create new economic growth.

Ultimately, this strengthens rural communities and small towns, helping to boost population and create new opportunity. By providing access to affordable, safe housing, we don’t just help American families – we help make rural communities a great place to call home.

These efforts also create good jobs in the short term and boost the economy. Industry estimates show that the construction of a new home creates economic benefits that support up to three new jobs. The sale of an existing home creates economic benefits as well – contributing nearly $60,000 to the U.S. economy.

Under the Obama Administration, USDA has helped more than 650,000 American families achieve the dream of homeownership.  We have also taken new steps to help families hit especially hard during the recession.  USDA created a new initiative – the Rural Refinance Pilot Program – that has helped more than 5,500 homeowners refinance their mortgage at lower rates. Earlier this year, USDA expanded this initiative from 19 to 34 states in an effort to provide assistance for more families.

USDA’s record work to provide rural housing assistance is just one part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive plan to revitalize the rural economy.  This month, we will also keep doing all we can to help Congress get a multi-year Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done to support our efforts.  This is important because a wide range of 2008 Farm Bill programs that provide assistance to rural America will expire this September. A long-term, comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is critical for USDA’s efforts to create new opportunity in rural areas.

During National Homeownership Month, we’ll take steps to highlight USDA programs that help rural families get a good place to live. And in the long term, we’ll continue our focus on strengthening and revitalizing the rural economy for generations to come.

6 Responses to “Secretary’s Column: Helping Families Achieve the Dream of Homeownership”

  1. Theresa says:

    This is a very nice program hoping we are one that can avail the usda housing assistance.

  2. rebecca says:

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes because Im a single mother of 4 children and all I want is a home for my family and its just really hard being a low income family were in a reantal thats to small and its really hard and puts a lot of stress on us and Im glad to know that there are people out there that help people like us. Thank ya’ll so much!

  3. jan rogers says:

    interested in rural home ownership

  4. Janet O'Dell says:

    How does one go about finding more information about this program. Who qualifies? What qualfies? How can one apply? Interested in finding out about any programs in Texas or Oklahoma.

  5. Landis says:

    You can just Google “Rural Development Oklahoma” or “Rural Development Texas” and then it’ll bring up the state office website, from there you can find a number to the state office and then they should be able to direct you to the appropriate local office. They can explain the program and send you an application.

  6. Walt Gray says:

    I am a retiree who works as a community activist with the Working Poor & Poor in the Phoenix metro area, but previously worked in Rural AZ as a county planner. My combined belief is a Tax Cut-Education-Jobs Combination is the best approach to reach long-term substainability in Urban and Rural America. I believe an educated workforce attracts employers more than housing, and employment brings housing, better schools and commerce. Particularly important is post-high school education for adults (strategically located community colleges). Tax cuts, particuarly in regressive sales taxes, provide immediate discretionary income to upgrade family life. Public-Private Partnerships will be needed for the education and jobs phases of the combination. This is where the Dept. of Agriculture & Corporate Agriculture could work together.

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