June is National Homeownership Month!
The United States Department of Agriculture celebrates National Homeownership Month every June, marking their ongoing mission of helping residents of America’s small towns and cities purchase homes in rural areas. Throughout the month of June, USDA celebrates events across America, demonstrating their commitment to providing access to affordable housing for low-and moderate-income rural residents.
“Owning a home is one of the best ways American families enter the middle class,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA has helped provide homeownership for rural Americans for more than six decades. This year, we are marking the 50th anniversary of USDA’s Mutual Self-Help program, and are celebrating the 50,000th home built through it.”
Homeownership provides a strong foundation to help build household wealth, start a business or fund education through home equity. Since the creation of USDA’s single-family housing programs in 1949, USDA has helped more than 3 million rural residents access the American dream of homeownership. Since 2009, the USDA has invested more than $117 billion to support rural homeownership. In 2014 alone, USDA invested more than $19.9 billion to help nearly 140,000 rural families buy and maintain homes.
Rural Development programs that support rural homeownership include:
- Direct home loans for low- and very-low-income applicants. Payment assistance is provided that can lower the loan interest rate to as low as one percent.
- Loan guarantees for moderate-income families. The agency works with private-sector lenders to back the lenders’ loans.
- Home repair loans and grants to help rural homeowners make improvements or repairs. (E,g, making homes accessible for people with disabilities, or removing hazards such as poor wiring or plumbing.)
To learn more about National Homeownership Month, please visit the USDA Facebook page.