Recent event in Van Horn spotlighted efforts to help rural residents
Contributed by Gayle Aubrey, USDA
USDA Rural Development Texas State Director Paco Valentin kicked off National Homeownership Month by highlighting USDA’s ongoing role to help people buy homes in rural areas.
“USDA Rural Development is pleased to assist rural Texans in meeting their housing needs, a critical goal to the long term sustainability of our communities,” said State Director Valentin. “USDA has helped provide homeownership for rural Americans for more than six decades. This year, our celebration of National Homeownership Month will recognize partnerships with some of the many organizations that have worked with us to make this achievement possible.”
USDA builds strong relationships with lenders, home builders, realtors, community development organizations, non-profits and housing finance authorities to provide homeownership opportunities to very-low, low- and moderate-income individuals in rural areas.
USDA’s Guaranteed Loan program, for instance, increases access to mortgage financing in rural communities by offering approved lenders a 90 percent loan guarantee to offset their risk if a borrower defaults. By partnering with approved public and private lenders, more than one million low- to moderate-income families have bought and refinanced homes in rural America through this program during the Obama Administration. The program requires no down payment from the applicant, offers a fixed interest rate, and has a 30-year loan term.
The Department recently announced a series of changes that will make it faster and cheaper for rural homeowners with USDA-backed mortgages to refinance their loans and save money with a lower interest rate. The changes took effect June 2. Interested homeowners with USDA loan guarantees should contact their lender about refinance procedures. Homeowners with mortgages through USDA’s Direct Loan program should contact a USDA housing specialist.
In addition to mortgage financing, USDA provides grants and loans to help rural homeowners make improvements or repairs, such as removing health and safety hazards or making accessibility modifications for people with disabilities.
USDA has invested more than $7 billion in Texas since 2009 to support rural homeownership. USDA employees will celebrate National Homeownership Month throughout June with events across the State that will demonstrate the commitment to provide access to affordable housing for low- and moderate-income rural residents.
For more information regarding USDA Rural Development programs, please contact the State Office Housing Program at (254) 742-9770 or by visiting our website at www.rd.usda.gov/tx for direct contact information for an Area Office that provides service to your county.