The nation’s top rural housing official, Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez, joined U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter Friday to highlight the importance of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) housing programs to New Hampshire families.
Hernandez, who oversees one of the nation’s largest home mortgage portfolios, said 3,263 New Hampshire families have benefited from $172,395,260 of USDA loans, loan guarantees and grants in the past 12 months to help buy, rent or repair their rural homes. USDA Rural Development provides home loan products for low- and very-low-income rural residents, offers loan products to incentivize the creation of rural rental housing, and administers a rental assistance program for low and very-low-income renters.
"Each year, thousands of New Hampshire families look to the USDA to help them realize the American dream of homeownership, to help them afford a safe apartment, or to make critical improvements to their homes that they would otherwise be unable to afford," said Hernandez. "These investments in the people of New Hampshire are two-fold. They immediately solve the number one barrier to breaking the cycle of poverty -- access to safe and affordable housing. But the investments also help to create thriving and sustainable rural communities by bolstering real estate markets, creating jobs and making rural America more livable and affordable."
During the news conference, USDA Rural Development New Hampshire State Director Ted Brady said the USDA has a large role in ensuring low income and moderate income New Hampshire families can afford to buy, rent or stay in their homes. He noted that last year nearly one in ten single family home purchases in New Hampshire were supported by a USDA loan product. Brady added that without the support of Congress, the thousands of rural New Hampshire residents who depend upon the USDA might not be able to afford to live in rural New Hampshire.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $201 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the Vermont/New Hampshire Rural Development website (www.rurdev.usda.gov/nh-vtHome.html) or contact USDA RD at (603) 223-2003.