Nellie Buckman is the daughter of a migrant worker. Growing up her family moved from place to place a lot. She never really had a place to call home until her adult years when she moved into a little tiny house that was originally from Igloo, South Dakota, which incidentally is located on the same lot line as her current residence which was built by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1979. Over the years, the Buckmans raised 10 children in this home. The transition from the little small house to the HUD house was quite an experience for the family. The HUD house was much bigger and in the beginning, the children all slept in one bedroom until they got used to having extra space. Her children now grown, Buckman’s home continues to be a gathering place for her large family.
“I love having a place to call home, to care for, and have all of my trinkets and memories surround me,” said Nellie Buckman.
Throughout the years the house has seen its share of wear and tear – weather beaten from snow, rain, wind, and hail. The outside structure was in desperate need of repair. USDA Rural Development partnered with Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing in getting the application put together, Neighborhood Housing Services of the Black Hills provided additional funds to complete the renovations to the home, and Loafer Construction of Kyle, SD was the contractor for the project.
“No more leaks in the roof, the house is now quite a bit warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, ” stated an excited Buckman. When USDA Rural Development Housing Specialist Ruth O’Neill arrived at the home for a final inspection she stated, “I drove right by it…the house with a new metal roof and pretty pink siding. The trees were cleaned up and everything looked so nice. It looked like a new home!” When asked for advice to others that are looking to fix up their home, Nellie stated, “Don’t worry about the past, look toward the future. USDA will work you through your issues whatever they may be, they will help you fill out your application or share ideas on how to work with your credit. I thank them for keeping my house a home.”
In South Dakota, Rural Development programs helped 1,409 families to obtain homes or preserve homeownership through making essential repairs that helped them to remain in their homes last year.