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Success Stories

Partnerships help ease financial burden for homeowners

Michael Frye
Homeownership Month 2023
Roxanne visits with guests during homeownership event

The stress of buying a home is common for many people. It’s likely the biggest and most important purchase we make in our lifetimes. Yet for many Americans, the financial burden may make that purchase unreachable.

Rural Development housing programs offer a variety of options to bring homeownership dreams closer to a reality, and through a diverse group of partnerships, more South Dakotans complete their homebuying journey.

Dacotah Bank in Aberdeen is one of those partners going the extra mile to secure additional funds for low or very low-income families. Utilizing the Home$tart forgivable grant Dacotah Bank provides up to $7,500 to eligible borrowers to assist with closing costs or down payment.

“These funds help get homeowners to the closing,” said Cathy Papke, Mortgage Appraisal Specialist Supervisor at Dacotah Bank. “Without programs like this and the affordable loan provided by Rural Development, many potential owners wouldn’t be able to buy a home.”

The program offers a unique opportunity to bring additional money to the closing without adding additional burdens to the homeowner. After five years in the home, the grant is forgiven.

For homeowners who sell before reaching five years the grant payback amount is reduced for the time they’ve been in the home. In some cases, if the homeowner made additional improvements to the home, can also help to reduce the amount that may be required to pay back.

“Dacotah Bank simply works with Rural Development and qualified borrowers to help make buying a home easier,” said Cathy. “We are involved in a lot of things within the community, and this is just another way we can help our local residents.”

Roxanne Woodring from Rural Development is grateful for Dacotah Bank’s willingness to assist with managing the additional funds. “Because of partnerships like this and so many others, we can make our loans more affordable,” said Roxanne. “It isn’t about giving homes away, but making the homeownership dream a reality for deserving citizens.”

Because Rural Development and Dacotah Bank have partnered for so many years, the steps to get borrowers the additional assistance is very easy. “Roxanne usually knows exactly what documents I need to qualify a borrower,” said Cathy. “And she’s very responsive if there are additional items I need.”

Rural Development and Dacotah Bank share a common goal and belief. “It isn’t just about getting them into a home,” said Roxanne. “We want to make sure they can afford the home and that it’s a good fit.”

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  • South Dakota: District (at Large)