Mississippi’s Rural Development State Director Trina N. George and USDA officials, along with municipal and community leaders took a day last week to help rebuild a home that was severely damaged by a recent tornado that swept through Yazoo City, as part of the agency’s recognition of June as National Homeownership Month. 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 »
By Michael Jones, USDA Public Affairs Director, Ohio
Tammye Trevino, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities, visited Columbus, Ohio recently to participate in the sixth of 10 scheduled Self-Help Housing Forums being held around the country. Joining her on the panel were Ohio’s First Lady Frances Strickland and Ohio Rural Development State Director Tony Logan.
More than 50 participants from Ohio and surrounding states attended the forum and engaged in a free-flowing exchange of ideas to improve the administration and effectiveness of Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program.
Part of the dialogue centered on incorporating new strategies aimed at increasing nationwide participation and ultimate success in the program. Participants collectively expressed concern about the financial stability and timely distribution of the program’s funding, particularly to organizations that have documented home building experience and proven operational success.
Moderated by Mrs. Strickland, Ohio’s forum included comments from two of Ohio’s most successful Self-Help Housing Program proponents. Representatives from both the Fayette County Community Action Agency and Three Rivers Housing Corporation provided valuable input about how they’ve used the program as well as offering suggestions about adjustments they would make to help improve its operation.
Ohio’s Self-Help Program has an impressive record of helping families achieve their dream of home ownership. Since 1992 Ohio’s self-help housing organizations have used more than $22.7 million in Rural Development funding to assist 240 families join the home ownership ranks.
Barbara Beard-Hinton, Assistant to the State Director for Rural Development
in North Carolina, Mel Ellis, Director, Single Family Housing and Rich Davis, Acting Deputy Administrator, Single Family Housing
sponsored a Self Help Housing
Listening Forum at the McKimmon Conference Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh on March 12.
There were 42 persons in attendance. The purpose of the forum was to create new ideas and promote the USDA Self Help Housing Program. The program, which is very popular, allows families to work together under the direction of a contractor to build their own homes. The process often takes a year and, upon completion, the work participants do on their houses becomes their “sweat equity.”
The listening forum was moderated by Scott Farmer, Director of Rental Investment, NC Housing Finance Agency
. North Carolina currently has five active grantees. Four of the five grantees were in attendance and provided valuable input based on their experience with the Self Help program.
Written by Delane Johnson, Public Information Specialist
Left to Right: Mel Ellis, Director Single Family Housing, USDA Rural Development NC, Rich Davis, Acting Deputy Administrator, USDA Single Family Housing, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln recently welcomed USDA Rural Development Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities Tammye Trevino to Little Rock for the department’s first of ten public forums on the Self-Help Housing Program.
Over eighty people from Arkansas and surrounding states attended the forum held at the William Jefferson Clinton Library. In addition from hearing from Senator Lincoln, Administrator Trevino, and Lawrence McCullough, USDA, Rural Development State Director, Arkansas Self Help Housing Grantees spoke. The forum provided the opportunity to share their personal experiences with the program.
Also while in Arkansas, Administrator Trevino participated in another forum at the Arkansas Studies Institute, focusing on rural libraries. Ms. Trevino announced an initiative to a crowd of over seventy, librarians, mayors, city officials and representatives of local businesses.
Immediately following the Rural Library Listening Forum, Ms. Trevino made the announcement of the selection of community based organizations in 18 states to receive funding to promote economic growth. The organizations will receive more than $6.5 million in total grants to support rural economic development efforts.
Left to right: Lawrence McCullough, Arkansas State Director, Tammye Trevino, USDA Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities and Chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
Written by Karen Petrus, USDA Rural Development, Arkansas