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Rural Housing Funding is More Than $136.3 Million Through USDA Rural Development

Vicki Schurman
Release Date
More than $136.3 million was delivered in federal fiscal year 2013 by USDA Rural Development to achieve homeownership, complete home repairs and to provide rental assistance to rural Nebraska families. USDA Rural Development oversees an $890.4 million housing portfolio in Nebraska of affordable rental properties and single family home loans that have maintained low delinquency rates. There is funding available for Fiscal Year 2014 and applications are being accepted. “Rural Development is proud to report that more than $136.3 million was invested in housing this fiscal year. Growing our rural areas is important and with that brings the need for housing. That is why Rural Development’s homeownership and rural rental housing programs are so important. It is also vital to have those programs in place for health and safety repairs,” said Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, USDA Rural Development. “We look forward to Fiscal Year 2014 and helping to continue to meet the needs of rural residents.” USDA Rural Development has two loan programs that provide affordable homeownership opportunities to rural Americans: the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program which had a banner fiscal year in 2013, and the Single Family Housing Direct Loan program. Both of these programs allow for 100 percent financing at affordable rates and terms. The Guaranteed loan program provides homeownership loans through approved lenders. The interest rate is negotiated between the lender and applicant and is currently below 4.75%. For the Direct loan program, loans are made directly through USDA Rural Development offices and the current interest rate is 3.75% and may be reduced to 1% for qualifying households. Additional information on both of these programs is available at the Agency website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne and click on the Single Family Housing link. In Fiscal Year 2013 homeownership was brought to 1,299 rural Nebraska families totaling more than $129 million. Since 1979, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $1.3 billion in rural Nebraska for homeownership opportunities and repairs. Eligibility for both housing programs is based on income, acceptable credit and repayment ability and the property must be located in rural areas with populations not exceeding 20,000. The communities of Norfolk and Columbus also remain eligible through at least January 15, 2014. USDA uses sound underwriting criteria to ensure borrowers are able to repay their loans. By doing so, USDA Rural Development is helping to keep people in their homes. You can visit the Agency eligibility website at http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov to determine if you are within the established income limit based on the size of household and county and if the property is located within an eligible area. USDA Rural Development also works with other housing partners to make affordable homeownership possible. Timothy Miller, a veteran of the U.S. Army and who is 100% visually impaired had his dream of owning a home happen through the partnering of the USDA Rural Development, Norfolk Area Habitat for Humanity and Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber participated in the rehabilitation of the property by having local businesses such as our Savior Lutheran Church and Northeast Community College donate time, talent, and energy to the property. The Rural Home Repair Loan and Grant program provided $273,341 in assistance to 50 rural Nebraska homeowners for essential repairs. Leveraged funding from a USDA grant and the Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska to Duane and Valerie Kelly of Elmwood, Nebraska repaired their home’s electrical system to code. Also a broken sewer pipe in the basement was repaired and carpet was replaced to remove black mold. Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska also installed new windows, guttering, soffit/fascia and vinyl siding making the home maintenance free for future years. The Multi-Family Rural Rental Housing Loan (MFH) program provides financing to develop rental housing in rural areas for persons with very-low, low and moderate incomes. Funds may also be used to construct a new facility or to rehabilitate Rural Development financed apartments or convert existing buildings into apartments. Nebraska has 213 rental complexes financed through Rural Development that provide over 3,300 affordable rental units. A Rural Rental Housing Guarantee will back the loan provided by a bank to construct Eastward Village Apartments in McCook, Nebraska offering 27 units of affordable apartment living. Subsidies are available to lower a tenant's monthly contribution in order to make rent more affordable. In the 2013 fiscal year, more than $6.1 million of rental assistance and vouchers were provided to 1,680 tenants residing in Rural Development multi-family rural rental housing complexes in Nebraska. To locate a rural rental housing complex nearest you visit: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/NEHousingPrograms_MFH_Apts_For_Rent.htm The Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program provides grants to revitalize Multi-Family Housing projects in order to extend the affordable use of these projects without displacing tenants due to increased rents. The Imperial Housing Authority received a grant of $80,000 to complete electrical repairs which affected the health and safety of their tenants and helped to revitalize their housing facility. For more information contact the Rural Development office nearest you. You can locate an office by visiting: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/NE-ContactUs.html. Visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne for information on all of Rural Development’s programs. For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2012. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html. 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.