USDA celebrates Homeownership Month at newly built Warsaw home

(photo supplied / USDA Rural Development)

Thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture Direct Single-Family Housing Program, Melissa Huhn and her family have been living in their newly built Warsaw home on West Point Drive for the last two months. 

On Thursday, local and state USDA representatives, including State Director Michael Dora, presented Huhn with a plaque and a flower basket recognizing her achievement at her home. A tree-planting was scheduled but due to the weather was postponed.

Each June, USDA celebrates National Homeownership Month with events across the country to demonstrate USDA’s “longstanding commitment to provide affordable housing opportunities for rural Americans,” according to a news release from USDA. 

Joel Baxley, acting assistant to the secretary for rural development, said in a separate release, “Homeownership provides a strong foundation for hard-working people to build household wealth and climb the ladder of prosperity. 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.”

The USDA wants rural residents to know the department has programs that can be their “keys to homeownership.” 

USDA Single-Family Housing programs have served more than 4.4 million families in rural America since President Truman signed the Housing Act in 1949. 

According to the release, Rural Development has several programs that support rural homeownership, including:

• USDA partnerships with private-sector lenders to help rural families buy homes. 

• Direct home loans for very-low- and low-income applicants. 

• Repair loans and grants that help people improve access to their homes and remove health and safety hazards such as poor wiring or plumbing.

• 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.

In fiscal year 2018, USDA’s Rural Home Loan Program in Indiana invested nearly $633.8 million in home loans for 5,493 Indiana families to buy a home of their own and provided $1.1 million in home repair funds to 199 very low-income residents. Of the loan funds, $598.1 million was in the form of loan guarantees to private lenders to support mortgage activity in rural areas, according to a release.

To learn more about USDA’s home ownership and owner-occupied repair programs, contact the Knox USDA office at 574-772-3066, ext. 4. 

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