Celebration Event Includes Celebrating Success Stories, Recognizing Top Lender Partners and Nonprofit Organization Partners
MARION, Ala., June 27, 2022 – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Alabama State Director Nivory Gordon Jr. hosted the agency’s Alabama National Homeownership Month celebration in Marion, Alabama. At the center of today’s event, USDA is highlighting programs that help people in rural areas buy, build and repair affordable homes and to pay their rent in Alabama’s smallest towns and communities.
“’Home’ is a word with many meanings”, said Gordon. “It’s the community that you’re from or that you live in. It’s the place that you’re connected to. It’s the structure in which you live, no matter if it’s a home that you own, or a place that you rent. Through USDA’s programs, we here in Alabama are hard at work helping families and individuals get into safe and comfortable places to live, to raise a family, or to proudly call ‘home’”.
USDA Rural Development Alabama is celebrating National Homeownership Month with an event to recognize success stories involving USDA’s housing programs, USDA lender partners, and USDA nonprofit organization partners.
Expanding opportunities for homeownership and rental assistance strengthens rural communities and helps families and individuals build wealth and achieve financial stability. This month, the Department is highlighting the ways that USDA has invested $401.7 million to help 2,243 families and individuals in rural and Tribal communities buy, repair and build homes through USDA Rural Development’s single family housing programs in fiscal year 2022 to date in Alabama. In fiscal year 2021, USDA invested $828.3 million to help 4,947 rural individuals and families buy, repair, and rebuild rural homes across the state.
In addition, USDA works to increase access to affordable multifamily rental housing opportunities in rural America. The Department is currently helping nearly 300,000 tenants nationwide afford to pay their rent through rental assistance. This assistance ensures low-income and elderly tenants pay no more than 30% of their income in rent. For more information, visit Multifamily Housing Programs | Rural Development (usda.gov).
USDA is also highlighting ways it is working with lenders and community partners to open the door to homeownership for rural Alabamians who have been unserved or underserved for far too long. USDA is using this event to showcase affordable housing programs for lenders, community partners, families and individuals. USDA’s single family housing programs are:
- The Single Family Housing Direct Home Loan Program provides loans directly to families and individuals so they can buy or build homes in rural America.
- The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program enables USDA to partner with private lending institutions, backing their loans to help families and individuals buy homes in rural areas.
- The Home Repair Loan and Grant Program provides loans and grants to help families and individuals repair their homes to make them safer, healthier places to live.
- The Mutual Self-Help Housing Grant Program provides grants to qualified organizations to help them carry out local self-help housing construction projects.
- The Housing Preservation Grant Program provides grants to qualified organizations for the repair or rehabilitation of housing owned or occupied by low- and very-low-income rural citizens.
Single Family Housing Top Lenders of the Year Awards
USDA Rural Development Alabama recognizes lenders who partner with the agency through the Guaranteed Home Loan program. This program assists approved lenders in providing low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas. Eligible applicants may purchase, build, rehabilitate, improve or relocate a dwelling in an eligible rural area with 100% financing. The program provides a 90% loan note guarantee to approved lenders in order to reduce the risk of extending 100% loans to eligible rural homebuyers – so no money down for those who qualify.
In fiscal year 2022 to date, the top five lender partners participating in the program are:
- Top lender partner: Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation of Madison, Wisconsin. Fairway helped 153 rural individuals and families buy homes backed with an USDA loan guarantee. This is the second year in a row that Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has been the top lender.
- Second top lender partner: Renasant Bank of Tupelo, Mississippi. Renasant Bank helped 80 rural individuals and families to buy homes backed with an USDA loan guarantee.
- Third top lender partner: Hometown Lenders, Inc., of Huntsville, Alabama. Hometown Lenders helped 67 rural individuals and families buy homes backed with an USDA loan guarantee.
- Fourth top lender partner: FirstBank of Nashville, Tennessee. FirstBank helped 60 rural individuals and families buy homes backed with a USDA loan guarantee.
- Fifth top lender partner: DHI Mortgage Company of Austin, Texas. DHI Mortgage Company helped 55 individuals and families buy homes backed with an USDA loan guarantee.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender