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USDA Self Help Housing Puts Families in Homes in South Texas

Written by Ana Placencia, Area Specialist, Uvalde Sub-Area Office;  and Gayle Cargo, Texas USDA Public Information Coordinator

Last month in the south Texas community of Uvalde, Texas State Director Paco Valentin witnessed how USDA Rural Development and the Self Help Housing Program can touch the lives of families in rural Texas.  Family, friends and collaborating Agencies gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of three homes that will forever change the lives of these new homeowners. Read more »

Fire Adapted Communities Help Reduce Wildfire Spread, Damage

When it comes to natural disasters and tragedies, most people opt for complete avoidance. But what should you do when it is not a matter of avoidance, but minimizing risk? Most experts will agree that being prepared to adapt to the expected conditions is the best plan: Read more »

USDA Funding Support Helps a Native Learning Center in Rural Alaska to Grow

Yuut Elitnaurviat – People’s Learning Center (YE) is a non-profit vocational training center created by regional leaders to address the unique training and vocational education needs of the primarily Native residents of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Region of southwestern Alaska. YE has been carefully designed and is community driven. Read more »

New Jersey Mom, 89, and her 70 Year Old Daughter Buy a House Thanks to a USDA Direct Home Loan

Elizabeth and Doris Jones are a mother and daughter living in Penns Grove, New Jersey.  Elizabeth is 89 and Doris is 70.  They both lived in separate one bedroom apartment units for almost 30 years.   Now, thanks to USDA’s Direct Home Loan Program, they have their own house with a yard. Read more »

Iowa and Nebraska Families Observe June Homeownership Month

By Darin Leach, USDA Iowa Public Information Coordinator and by Vicki Schurman, Nebraska Public Information Coordinator

Earlier this month USDA Rural Development housing administrator Tammye Trevino and four state directors participated in tour to celebrate national Homeownership Month. The theme of national Homeownership Month this year is “Protecting the American Dream.”

During the past year, USDA Rural Development in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa have combined to invest more than $1.5 billion in direct and guaranteed loans to help 9,090 families purchase homes in rural areas.

In Glenwood, Iowa, the tour started by walking through an energy-star rated home currently under construction where the builder explained some construction techniques being used to improve energy efficiency.

The tour then moved across the street and recognized the Tighe family on their recent home purchase that was assisted by a direct loan from USDA Rural Development.  The family was very appreciative of all we have done to help them achieve their homeownership dreams.

The final destination in Glenwood was a stop at a local realtor to recognize some local housing partners.

Administrator Trevino also visited Plattsmouth, Nebraska. She joined Nebraska Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul at Cass County Bank, a local lender. Jal Angelsson and Susan Ramirez and Kendra and Robert Green were the guest of honor homeowners.  The families were presented flags that were flown over the U.S. Capitol at the request of U. S. Senator Ben Nelson. Also, congratulatory letters from the Senator were read.  The partners gave testaments to the American Dream of homeownership and the importance of partnering.  After the program it was off to a tour of the homes.

First on the tour was the Jal Angelsson home.  Jal and his family were already homeowners but needed a larger house to meet the growing demands of this family of five.  With the assistance of an area real estate agent, Jal found a home and obtained a 100 percent loan through Cass County Bank, backed by the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Loan program via American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.  Also on the tour was the home of Kendra and Robert Green. The Greens were tired of paying rent and wanted to provide their 18 month old daughter, with a home.  They received a low interest rate, no money down loan funded through the USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Direct Loan program through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.  “We closed on our house April 16, 2010 and couldn’t be happier,” shared Kendra Green.  “Owning a home was something we really didn’t think we would ever be able to do. USDA made our dreams a reality.”

USDA Housing Administrator Tammye Trevino (fifth from right) Homeowners, builders and USDA officials stand in front of a home in Glenwood, Iowa financed with assistance from USDA Rural Development.

USDA Housing Administrator Tammye Trevino (fifth from right) Homeowners, builders and USDA officials stand in front of a home in Glenwood, Iowa financed with assistance from USDA Rural Development.

USDA Rural Housing Administrator Tammye Trevino (Center) in Plattsmouth, Nebraska with homeowners Jal Angelsson and Susan Ramirez ( to Ms. Trevino’s left) and Emmelynn, Robert and Kendra Green.

USDA Rural Housing Administrator Tammye Trevino (Center) in Plattsmouth, Nebraska with homeowners Jal Angelsson and Susan Ramirez ( to Ms. Trevino’s left) and Emmelynn, Robert and Kendra Green.

USDA Officials Plant a People’s Garden in Syracuse

USDA Rural Development (RD), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff planted the first public “Peoples Garden” in New York State last week. Read more »