USDA Highlights Programs to Support Rural Housing

Nikki Gillespie
St. Paul
Release Date
Jun 30, 2020

Department Promotes Resources and Opportunities to Help Rural Residents

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 30, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Brad Finstad closed out National Homeownership Month by highlighting USDA’s ongoing role in supporting rural homeownership. President Trump issued a proclamation on May 29, 2020 recognizing June as National Homeownership Month.

“Safe, affordable housing and the ability to make essential home repairs for an individual or family to remain safely in their existing home is critical to the continued prosperity of rural communities, especially when dealing with the economic struggles of a health pandemic" said Finstad. "Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in building prosperity in rural communities and for the people who call them home – especially those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To assist homeowners facing current hardships, USDA is offering payment moratoriums and modified application processes. USDA Rural Development is also working with new borrowers and their lenders to make special accommodations based on local needs and restrictions. For the most up-to-date information on Rural Development’s response to COVID-19, visit Updates are also distributed via Twitter @usdaRD.

In Minnesota, USDA invested $378,399,981 to help 2,415 families and individuals buy a home through the Single-Family Housing Direct Loan (Section 502) and Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan (SFHG) programs.

USDA partners with private lenders through the SFHG program to guarantee private loans, securing affordable financing for individuals and families. Through Minnesota’s top three lending partnerships of American Mortgage & Equity, Bell Bank, and Bremer Bank, more than 400 individuals and families were able to find affordable housing in rural communities – totaling nearly $69 million.

Through the USDA’s Section 502 program, Travis and Emily Kath and their two children will be able move into a brand-new home with help from a $173,000 Direct Loan. Courtney Iverson and daughter Audrey moved into their new home earlier this Spring with help from a $219,150 Section 502 Direct Loan. These two homeownership stories wouldn’t have been possible without the partnership of Rice County Habitat for Humanity, who helped both families build their homes from the ground up through volunteer work and assisted with every aspect of the homeownership process from start to finish. Learn more about this partnership and the thirteen families that found affordable housing in southern Minnesota.

In addition to homeownership opportunities, the state also provided $565,895 for home repairs for 92 very low-income rural residents through the Single-Family Housing Repair Loan and Grant (Section 504) program.

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

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