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USDA Recognizes Partnerships in Celebration of National Homeownership Month

Nikki Gillespie
Release Date

Rural Development State Director for Minnesota Brad Finstad today highlighted the partnerships that aid in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ongoing efforts to assist individuals and families purchase affordable housing in rural communities.

   “Partnerships allow for expanded opportunities and are necessary in order to achieve prosperity, especially in rural communities,” Finstad said. “Through these partnerships, USDA is helping rural Americans achieve the dream of homeownership - supporting benefits that extend far beyond the home, resulting in stronger, more prosperous rural communities.”

   USDA Single Family Housing programs have served more than 4.4 million families in rural America since President Truman signed the Housing Act in 1949. Throughout June, USDA employees will celebrate National Homeownership Month with events across the Nation that demonstrate USDA’s commitment to provide access to affordable housing for rural Americans.

   Rural Development has several programs that support rural homeownership, including:

  • USDA partnerships with private-sector lenders to help rural families buy homes. Providing for lenders working with low- to moderate-income families is the key to developing private-sector homeownership opportunities.

    • For example, through partnership with Minnesota’s top 10 producing lenders in Fiscal Year 2018, Rural Development assisted 1,093 households and invested nearly $161 million. These lenders include:

      • American Mortgage & Equity Consultants

      • Bell Bank

      • Bremer Bank, N. A.

      • Flagstar Bank

      • Stearns Lending Inc

      • Lend Smart Mortgage, LLC

      • Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp

      • Midwest MN Community Development Corp (MMCDC)

      • Market Place Home Mortgage

      • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc

  • Direct home loans for very-low- and low-income applicants. Some borrowers qualify for program benefits that reduce the effective interest rate on their mortgage loan to one percent. Partnerships with local organizations help Rural Development reach prospective homebuyers. Referrals from the Rice County Habitat for Humanity chapter have resulted in eight households becoming homeowners since Oct. 1, 2018. The partnership between Rural Development and Habitat for Humanity allows homebuyers to obtain high-quality housing with affordable financing. An additional partnership with Three Rivers Community Action, a regional nonprofit, provides these homebuyers with closing cost assistance.

  • Repair loans and grants that help people improve access to their homes and remove health and safety hazards such as poor wiring or plumbing.

   To learn more about Rural Development’s partnerships and the investments described above, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn or contact the State Office at (651) 788-5307Image removed..

   In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America.

   To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

   USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn.