USDA Works with Families to Realize Their Dreams of Homeownership infographic. Click to enlarge
Five years ago, Christy Carr seemed like a long shot as a future homeowner. She was a newly divorced, unemployed mom of five, and her credit score was in the 300’s. The home she shared with her children had no heat, no electricity and no running water. A neighbor let Christy run an extension cord to his garage outlet just so that the family could keep the lights on. Since they had no car and only a cooler to keep their food cold, they walked to the store three times a day.
In order to rebuild her life, Christy had to find work and clean up her credit score. After many interviews, Christy was offered a good job at a marketing company. She was able to move into an apartment but it was too small to house all of her children, and her older sons had to stay with another family member. At the same time, Christy brought her student loans out of default and paid off old marital debts. After 18 months, her credit score had risen by 300 points, and she was able to open a credit card secured through her bank. Read more »
Wayne Bodley (far right) built his home through the Self-Help program with assistance from USDA Rural Development and the Housing Assistance Corporation. Bodley designed the bear which is displayed in downtown Hendersonville, NC, and will be auctioned off to benefit the local Self-Help program.
In celebration of USDA’s annual Homeownership Month, I toured a flourishing neighborhood tucked in the woods of Edneyville, North Carolina. Along with me were families who never thought it possible to own a home or have a yard for their children or a garden. Their dreams were realized by building not only their own home, but the homes of their neighbors too! In the process, they also built enduring bonds of a caring community.
This neighborhood is being developed by the private, nonprofit Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) of Hendersonville using Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing program. Since 1971, USDA has helped build more than 50,000 across the nation. Through the Self Help Housing program, homeowners save money and earn “sweat equity” toward their homes by completing 65% of the labor. Ten to 12 families pool their efforts and work a minimum of 40 hours a week working on all the homes — and no one moves into their home until every home is completed. Working together, families pour foundations, frame homes, install electrical wiring, hang doors and windows, and lay tile and paint. Their sweat equity qualifies as their down payment. Once completed, USDA Rural Development provides the families with mortgages through the Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program. Read more »
Robert Tapia, a single father of two, is pictured outside the Reedley, Calif. home he proudly helped build with ten other families through USDA's Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan program in partnership with Self-Help Enterprises, which celebrated the completion of its 6,000th home last week. (USDA photo)
The holidays will be extra special this year for 11 families in Reedley, Calif., who received the keys to their homes during a celebration ceremony December 19. The group spent nearly 10 months building each other’s homes through USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan program.
The rules of the program are simple, though not necessarily easy. Ten- to 12 families are grouped together to pool their efforts. Each family is required to put in a minimum of 40 hours a week working on all the homes and no one moves in until every home is completed. Together, families pour foundations, frame homes, install electrical wiring, hang doors and windows and even lay tile and paint. Their labor – “sweat equity” – acts as a down payment for the home, and USDA Rural Development provides the families with mortgages through the Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program. Read more »
(L to R) Administrator Trevino; Christine Rutherford, Peoples Bank and Trust; Stefanie Koester, homeowner; Janie Dunning, Missouri Rural Development State Director; Mike Mullen, Equitable Mortgage; Pam Anglin, Missouri Housing Program Director and Corey Husak, Senator Claire McCaskill’s Office. USDA photos.
Tammye Treviño, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Rural Housing Programs participated in a three-day tour throughout Illinois, Iowa and Missouri last month to highlight National Homeownership Month, a time when USDA, its federal partners and members of housing communities all across the country bring attention to the role housing plays in the economy.
As part of this tour Administrator Treviño visited Pilot Grove Savings Bank in Mount Pleasant to recognize the bank for using USDA Rural Development’s Guaranteed Rural Housing program to assist rural Iowans achieve their homeownership goals. Pilot Grove Savings Bank became an approved lender in 2001 and has used the USDA program to assist 70 families in obtaining a home in rural Iowa. 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 »
“I will always be grateful for the experience and the opportunity USDA RD, with the Mutual Self Help Program, has made possible for me and my sweet grandchildren. It is a dream come true and a prayer answered.” —Regine Lovely, new Oregon homeowner
June is National Homeownership Month, and this year’s theme is “Rural Housing, Rural Jobs” to recognize the housing sector’s significant role in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities and contributing to the economy. Read more »