Written by Dawn Knepp, Pennsylvania USDA Public Information Officer
In a small, quaint housing development in south-central Pennsylvania, families are realizing the American dream of homeownership with the help of a unique government program. USDA Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program provides mortgage financing to the homeowner and a technical assistance grant to a non-profit agency, in this case, Interfaith Housing Alliance. Interfaith supervises the homeowners who do much of the building of their own homes. To date, 20 families have completed homes and moved into the 39 lot development. Read more »
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 »
Now is a good time to build a new home. Just ask any of the 213 families around Utah County who have built their own homes over the past decade through USDA Rural Development’s Self Help Program. Rural Housing Development Corporation (RHDC) in Provo, Utah is the non-profit organization created to help income eligible families achieve the dream of home ownership. Read more »
Submitted by USDA Rural Development Maine State Director Virginia Manuel with assistance from Beverly StoneUSDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel congratulated Jason and Jessica Sockbeson on their new home during an open house in Indian Island, Maine to celebrate National Homeownership Month. Funding was provided by Rural Development through the Direct Home Loan program; The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Penobscot Nation provided subsidies to reduce the cost of the home.
The home is a LEED Gold Certified energy efficient home promoting energy conservation and affordability. This is the first home financed on the Penobscot Nation reservation through Rural Development’s One Stop Mortgage documents. “This represents a landmark event for Rural Development and the Penobscot Nation because funding is now available for those within this community to construct new homes,” Manuel said. “This program provides affordable housing opportunities for families and allows them to remain in their community and close to their family and culture.”
LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. This certification is the best way to demonstrate that your building is truly “green.” The rating system has various levels for new construction. Platinum is the highest and Gold is the next to highest certification offered through this process.
Rural Development, the Penobscot Nation, other partners, and the homeowners are especially pleased to have been able to achieve this level of construction for better energy savings and to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Sockbesons are thrilled to have a home of this caliber for less than they were previously paying in rent. Manuel said, “We are delighted that Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation, representatives from the entire Maine Congressional Delegation staffs and the local lender were present to help us celebrate this event with the Sockbeson family.”
From left to right: Jaxson, 2; Jaedan, 6; Jason and his wife, Jessica holding Jillian, 3 months
Last week, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Hench, a single Mom of five whom, thanks to the recovery act, was able to move her kids to a home in a nice development just outside of Carlisle, PA. Read more »