Tammye Treviño, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Rural Housing Programs participated in a three-day tour throughout Illinois, Iowa and Missouri last month to highlight National Homeownership Month, a time when USDA, its federal partners and members of housing communities all across the country bring attention to the role housing plays in the economy.
As part of this tour Administrator Treviño visited Pilot Grove Savings Bank in Mount Pleasant to recognize the bank for using USDA Rural Development’s Guaranteed Rural Housing program to assist rural Iowans achieve their homeownership goals. Pilot Grove Savings Bank became an approved lender in 2001 and has used the USDA program to assist 70 families in obtaining a home in rural Iowa.
The first stop in Illinois was in Bowen, a town of 500 in Hancock County. Ms. Treviño congratulated homeowners Corey and Kaitlin Hamilton, who were married on May 11. Using USDA’s Single Family Housing Direct loan program to purchase the home, this couple in their early 20s has many years ahead to build equity.
From a young couple buying their first home to a supportive living facility for seniors, the next stop exemplified the range of Rural Development’s housing programs. The Hickory Grove Apartments, in association with Memorial Hospital, received a Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Loan from P/R Mortgage. This beautiful facility in Carthage is for seniors 65 and older seeking a sense of community while remaining independent. Ms. Treviño presented Hickory Grove with a Certificate of Partnership which represented the commitment of both Rural Development and Hickory Grove Apartments to improving the quality of life for rural citizens for years to come.
In Missouri, Administrator Treviño visited the homes of two (2) Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) Program borrowers, Justin and Michelle Worthington and Stefanie Koester. Peoples Bank and Trust and Equitable Mortgage Corporation were recognized as GRH Program participating lenders.
Mr. and Mrs. Worthington refinanced their mortgage through Rural Development’s GRH Pilot Refinancing Program. They were able to reduce their interest rate which will save them money over the life of their loan. Ms. Koester used the Guaranteed Housing Loan Program to purchase her first home.
USDA’s home loan programs change the lives of thousands of rural families each year. For example, Pennsylvania resident Misty Allen and her daughter Deanna have weathered the storms of renting (literally). After being flooded out of their most recent apartment, the necessary repairs increased the rent significantly. Misty started searching for homes and soon learned about USDA’s Direct Home Loan Program through her local realtor. Six months later, she settled on her first home in a picturesque neighborhood in downtown Athens, PA. The quiet street is a few blocks from her daughter’s school and the mortgage payment in their pet-friendly home is less than they were paying to rent an apartment.
USDA Rural Development State Director Thomas Williams and staff recognized National Homeownership Month last month by presenting a certificate of appreciation to Misty for participating in the Rural Development Direct Home Loan Program.
“We are continuing to make safe, affordable housing available to credit-worthy applicants like Misty Allen across Pennsylvania,” said Williams.
For information about Rural Development programs and to find out how USDA can help you meet your goals, contact your nearest Rural Development office. A list of these offices is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/StateOfficeAddresses.html.