USDA celebrates National Homeownership Month (Keeping the Farm)
(Editor’s note: Denise Lovelady is the state director for USDA Rural Development, Maryland-Delaware).
USDA Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Programs have provided rural families a path to homeownership and economic opportunity for more than 70 years.
Since President Harry S. Truman signed the Housing Act in 1949, these programs have served more than 4.4 million families throughout rural America.
Homeownership provides a strong foundation that helps hard-working people build household wealth and climb the ladder of economic opportunity.
It strengthens rural communities, creates jobs, and benefits the local businesses that support the rural places we call home.
By helping rural Americans achieve the dream of homeownership, USDA is supporting benefits that extend far beyond the home, resulting in stronger, more prosperous rural communities.
Throughout June, USDA will celebrate National Homeownership Month.
Events and activities across the nation will demonstrate USDA’s commitment to providing access to affordable housing opportunities for rural Americans.
In the spirit of this month, I want to share some of the work being done in rural Maryland and Delaware to help rural families buy, build, and repair their homes.
Rural Development has several programs that support rural homeownership.
To help rural families purchase a home, USDA provides mortgage loan guarantees through partnerships with private-sector lenders to help low- to moderate-income rural families buy homes.
Rural Development invested more than $518 million in Maryland and more than $133 million in Delaware through this program last fiscal year.
We also offer direct home loans to very-low- and low-income prospective homebuyers. Some borrowers may qualify for mortgage interest rates as low as 1 percent. In 2018, more than $23.6 million was invested in Delaware and Maryland through this program.
More than 3,100 families in Delaware and Maryland used these programs to purchase a home in a rural area last year.
USDA offers repair loans and grants to help low-income residents and senior citizens remove health and safety hazards such as poor wiring or plumbing. More than 50 rural homeowners in Delaware and Maryland benefitted from this program in 2018.
Because of this investment, these rural residents can safely remain in their homes and a part of their rural communities.
Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance grants are available to nonprofit organizations to help very-low- and low-income families build their own rural homes.
Our partners, such as NCALL, Milford Housing Development Corporation, and Interfaith Housing Alliance Incorporated, are leading the way locally to help families work together to build their own homes. Did you know that military veterans may qualify for USDA’s Self-Help Housing Program? Milford Housing Development Corporation recently helped a veteran couple purchase and build their own home through the Self-Help Housing Program.
This couple continues to assist other families in their homeownership journey. They pay it forward by volunteering their time and help to others throughout the community.
I encourage each of you to join USDA Rural Development in celebrating rural homeownership this month.
Our office will be attending various events, celebrations, and homeownership orientations to highlight the homeownership opportunities available through USDA’s
Single Family Housing Programs. To learn more about USDA’s efforts to observe National Homeownership Month, please visit our website (rd.usda.gov/md or rd.usda.gov/de) and follow our social media (Twitter: @RD_DE_MD).
I look forward to celebrating the work of our Single Family Housing Programs across our region all month long.
Reach out to me at Denise.Lovelady@usda.gov if there are ways my office can better support homeownership in your rural community. Until next time…have a wonderful summer!
1-800-634-5021 410-822-3965 Fax- 410-822-5068
P.O. Box 2026 Easton, MD 21601-8925