USDA Celebrates National Homeownership Month

Name
Larry Yerich
City
Anchorage
State
Alaska
Release Date
Jun 02, 2015

USDA-Rural Development (USDA-RD) Alaska, Single Family Housing and Community Facilities Director Greg Stuckey announced today that USDA-RD is kicking off National Homeownership Month by highlighting the agency’s ongoing role to help residents of Alaska’s small towns and cities purchase homes in rural areas.
  
"Owning a home is one of the best ways American families enter the middle class," Stuckey said. "USDA has helped provide homeownership for rural Alaskans for more than 60 years. This year, we are marking the 50th anniversary of USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing program and are celebrating the 50,000th home built through it nationally."

The Mutual Self-Help program provides grants to help organizations carry out housing construction projects in rural areas. These organizations supervise groups of very-low and low-income individuals and families as they construct their own homes. The group members provide most of the construction labor on each other’s homes and get technical assistance from the organization overseeing the project.

By working with trusted local organizations, this program helps people get affordable, clean and safe homes of their own.  Homeownership provides a strong foundation to help build household wealth, start a business or fund education through home equity.

Listed below are Rural Development programs that support rural homeownership:

• 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. Examples include making homes accessible for people with disabilities, or removing health and safety hazards such as poor wiring or plumbing
  
To learn more about USDA-RD’s observance of National Homeownership Month, please contact Greg Stuckey at: (907) 761-7778, or: greg.stuckey@ak.usda.gov.

Since 2009, USDA-Rural Development has invested over $1.5 billion in more than 220 rural Alaskan communities.  These investments in housing, community facilities, business, energy, telecom and electric have helped to grow rural Alaska’s economy and enhance the quality of life for its residents.