Debbie Wright, City Recorder for the Town of Big Sandy, set out with a goal earlier this year to find a way to help very low income homeowners in Big Sandy and the Benton County Area obtain affordable financing to complete necessary home repairs. Mrs. Wright contacted Mary Hickman, Area Specialist for USDA Rural Development for help. “The Town of Big Sandy is proud of the relationship with USDA, and I have personally worked with Mary Hickman for almost 30 years. I hoped we could work together to accomplish this goal,” said Wright.
Working with USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program, Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), and Northwest Tennessee Development District (NWTDD), families have received assistance with necessary repairs to their homes. These repairs have included things such as floor repair, and repairing or replacing central heating and air units, windows, and roofs.
Mrs. Beatrice Pickler is a homeowner who has benefited from this partnership. “I can finally live comfortably in my retirement,” she replied when asked what this assistance meant to her. “Mrs. Bea is a retired nurse and truck driver. She has worked very hard and deserves this opportunity,” said Wright.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. Since 2009, the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million families and businesses in over 230 communities in all 95 counties of Tennessee investing more than $5.4 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Northwest Tennessee contact the Union City Area Office at 731-885-6480 x 4, or online at www.rd.usda.gov/TN.