During a tour of the new home of Sussex Academy (l-r) USDA Rural Development Community Program Director Denise MacLeish, USDA Director of Legislative and Public Affairs David Sandretti, rising freshman Cohen Davis, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, rising eight grader Elise Conlin, Acting Delaware/Maryland State Director Kathy Beisner, and Loan Specialist Angela Tilghman stand with Sussex Academy’s new logo. USDA Photo.
Sussex County, Delaware’s only charter school, the former Sussex Academy of Arts & Sciences middle school, is being re-named “Sussex Academy” as it expands to include a high school. But unlike most expansion projects, the academy is swapping its old building for an existing building that meets its needs, and it is doing it with help from USDA.
The swap was highlighted recently at an event attended by USDA Rural Development, school officials, and U.S. Senator Tom Carper. Read more »
Stakeholders meet with USDA staff in New York recently to discuss ways to use Rural Development programs to help small businesses create jobs and grow businesses. USDA photo.
Last month, USDA Rural Development’s Delaware – Maryland State Office and the State Office staff in New York hosted roundtable discussions on Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) availability. RLF programs are unique programs that provide funds to local and regional organizations to capitalize and operate revolving loan funds. Revolving loan funds are used to assist with business financing and economic development activities to create and/or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities. As such, these are programs that have great potential for meeting USDA’s rural economic mandate in a time of scarce federal funding. Read more »
Earlier this month I joined Delaware Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons in announcing USDA funding support for a project that will help 24 limited-income families build their own homes. It’s called Self-Help Housing.
Under the program, limited-income credit-worthy families work together to build their own houses. Usually, about eight families work together under the guidance of a construction foreman and the process takes about a year. The program requires applicants to provide at least 65 percent of the labor, and at closing, this contribution becomes their “sweat equity.” At the end of the process, USDA provides a direct homeownership loan at an interest rate of as little as one percent.
“The Self-Help Housing Program is one that instills a sense of pride in individuals as they work to build the very structure they will live in,” said Senator Carper. “Homeownership is part of the American dream, and programs like the USDA’s Rural Development Self Help Housing Program make that dream more accessible as we work our way out of this long and difficult recession,” Senator Coons said. Read more »
Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager visits with prospective homeowner Linda Diaz at a self-help housing subdivision in Laurel, Delaware. USDA helps thousands of limited-income families each year as they purchase or repair homes.
Today, June 1, is the first day of National Homeownership Month, which is celebrated each June to highlight the important role housing plays in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities and contributing to the economy. Read more »
Under Secretary Tonsager and Worton farmer Frank Dill inspect a field of soybeans grown with the assistance of the County's spray irrigation system.
Earlier this fall, USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager traveled to Delaware and Maryland to tour two USDA funded wastewater system projects located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Read more »
Local construction contractors attended a June 22nd ‘work day’ event in the Crescent Shores Subdivision in Lincoln, Delaware to tell the audience of volunteers, homeowners and federal and state officials of how the USDA Rural Development Self-Help Housing Program has kept their businesses alive.
The Self-Help Housing Program was established as a path to homeownership for very-low to low-income families, utilizing a sweat equity model. It is the only federally –funded homeownership program specifically for rural America. Read more »