The dream of home ownership is alive and well in rural America
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 2:31 pm
By: Bobby Goode, Special to The Press
Tornados, floods and Wall Street ups and downs; sometimes it can seem like nature and human nature are teaming up against us.
But, these events also remind us of the power we have to shape the future when we pull together.
June is National Homeownership Month, a time set aside each year to raise awareness of the vital economic and social contributions homes make for our families and in our communities.
In Tennessee, USDA Rural Development has helped bring affordable homeownership within reach for more than 4,100 families and individuals so far this fiscal year.
Despite everything that has been happening, our first-year home loan borrowers maintain a better than 95 percent success rate.
With more than 25,680 active home loans and home loan guarantees, these homeowner success stories represent a tremendous impact on a wide range of jobs, businesses and communities across the state.
The success of our customers is no accident. Our mortgage and home repair loans are designed for people who are making a long term investment for their family.
It also makes a big difference that USDA staff lives and works in the communities they serve.
When we finance a home or home repair for families with a very-low to moderate income our goal is always to first provide them with the knowledge they need to achieve the dream of being successful homeowners for life.
Providing hands on assistance from start to finish, we work to make sure direct borrowers know what they are committing to, helping them prepare for the responsibilities as well as the benefits of owning a home.
Our home loan-guarantees increase liquidity and security for private local lenders, helping them increase the pool of private capital available for home loans in rural areas. Just as important, we help people meet the challenge of maintaining a home.
So far this fiscal year we have made 149 low-interest home repair loans to eligible families and another 153 grants to make it possible for elderly homeowners to make necessary repairs. Right now we are also accepting applications for our Housing Preservation Grant program. This program funds non-profits and local governments that help low-income families repair, weatherize or improve access to a home for people with disabilities. The deadline for applications is June 28, 2010.
The extra investments made in Tennessee through the Federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act are coming to an end in September, but our programs for homebuyers and homeowners will continue helping people as they have for three generations.
To find out more, ask your lender about a USDA Rural Development home loan guarantee or contact us directly to find out how we can help you, or someone you know, achieve the dream of homeownership. In Tennessee, call 800-342-3149 or find the office that serves your county online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/TN.
Editor’s note: Bobby M. Goode is the state director for
USDA Rural Development.