WASHINGTON – Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off National Homeownership Month, as part of a nationwide celebration to highlight U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) efforts to provide access to affordable housing for rural Americans.
“Safe, energy-efficient, affordable housing is essential to the vitality of communities in rural America,” said Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The American Rescue Plan is providing critical relief to rural homeowners and helping to keep more Americans in their homes. USDA is committed to using our resources to help support healthy, resilient, and more equitable communities through homeownership.
Since 1949, USDA has helped 4.7 million families and individuals buy homes in rural areas. USDA Rural Development supports rural homeownership through the following programs:
- The Single Family Housing Direct Home Loan Program provides loans directly to families and individuals so they can buy or build homes in rural America. In its lifetime, this program has helped 2.2 million families and individuals purchase a home.
- Through its Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, USDA has partnered with more than 4,000 private lending institutions, backing their loans to help nearly 2 million families and individuals buy homes in rural areas since the program was created in 1991.
- The Home Repair Loan and Grant Program provides loans and grants to help families and individuals repair and modernize homes, making them safer, healthier places to live. Since it started in 1950, the program has helped nearly 434,000 families improve the quality of their homes.
- The Mutual Self-Help Housing Grant Program provides grants to qualified organizations to help them carry out local self-help housing construction projects. Through this program, USDA has worked with nearly 230 organizations to provide a unique opportunity for families and individuals to lower the overall purchase price of a new home by investing “sweat equity” into its construction.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.
To learn more, visit www.usda.go.