National Homeownership Month is celebrated each June to recognize the importance of homeownership in communities and to families across the nation. In Nebraska, USDA officials will be holding a number of community informational meetings to highlight programs to help rural residents buy or repair homes used as their permanent residence.
Now may be the time to become a homeowner or to make needed repairs to your home. A public informational meeting is scheduled on June 9, 2014 in O’Neill, Nebraska at the City of O’Neill Council Room located at 401 E. Fremont St. from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. to learn if you may qualify for these federal programs.
Housing plays an important role in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities and contributing to the economy. But many families may think they cannot afford a home. Sometimes good credit is not enough as conventional credit may require a substantial down payment.
“Homeownership should be an achievable dream and in many cases, USDA housing programs provide the only way for rural residents to buy a home or to make needed repairs,” said State Director for Nebraska Rural Development Maxine Moul.
Rural families can become homeowners with no down payment. Through USDA housing programs, 100% financing is available for home purchases at affordable rates and terms. With the Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loan program, clients work with traditional mortgage lenders who are approved for participation in the GRH program. Interest rates have typically been less than 4.75%. For the Direct loan program, applicants can pre-qualify with USDA Rural Development offices. Rural Development offers a fixed 3.75% interest rate for 33 years, but additional subsidy may be available to as low as 1% for eligible applicants. Eligibility is based on income, acceptable credit and repayment ability and the property must be located in a rural area. USDA also offers home repair loans with interest rates at 1% or homeowners age 62 or older may qualify for a grant if they are unable to repay a loan.
Since 2000, Rural Development in Nebraska has helped 142 families to become homeowners in Holt County by providing $9.7 million of home loans through its guaranteed rural housing and direct loan programs.
In Fiscal Year 2013 Rural Development in Nebraska assisted 1,299 families statewide by providing more than $129 million of home loans in through its housing programs.
USDA Rural Development in Nebraska has more than $120 million available in Fiscal Year 2014, to finance home loan purchases in rural communities. All communities in Nebraska are eligible for housing programs with the exceptions of Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha and South Sioux City/Dakota City.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.