USDA celebrates home owners with National Home Ownership month in June | TheFencePost.com

USDA celebrates home owners with National Home Ownership month in June

Staff reports

June is National Home Ownership month, and in observance of that, the USDA is hosting a number of activities and events across the country intended to showcase efforts to help rural residents achieve their goals of homeownership.

"Owning a home helps promote stable communities and is one of the best ways American families can build wealth," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "During the Obama administration, USDA has helped more than one million rural families and individuals to realize their dreams of home ownership. This year, our celebration of National Home Ownership Month will recognize partnerships with some of the many organizations that have worked with us to make this achievement possible."

Much of what the USDA does on this front involves building relationships and working with lenders, home builders, realtors, community development organizations, non-profits and housing finance authorities. The department uses these connections to then offer home ownership opportunities to rural residents in the very low, low and moderate income categories.

For example, the USDA's Guaranteed Loan program increases access to mortgage financing in rural areas by offering approved lenders a 90 percent loan guarantee to offset their risk if a buyer defaults. In partnership with approved private and public lenders, the USDA has been able to help more than a million low to moderate income families buy and refinance their homes during the Obama Administration. The offer has a 30-year loan term, requires no down payment, and has a fixed interest rate.

Starting June 2, several changes will take effect making it easier and faster for rural homeowners with USDA-backed mortgages to refinance their loans and save money with a lower interest rate. Interested homeowners with a USDA loan guarantees should contact their lenders about refinance opportunities. Homeowners with mortgages through the USDA's Direct Loan Program should contact a USDA housing specialist.

The USDA also provides grants and loans to help rural homeowners make improvements or repairs. These include the removal of health and safety hazards, as well as modifications for those with disabilities.

Recommended Stories For You

Those interested in learning more about the USDA's events for home ownership monthshould visit the agency's Facebook page, or contact their nearest Rural Development State Office.

-Staff reports