STEVENS POINT, Wisc., June 7, 2022 — Today, during the first full week of June, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Wisconsin Julie Lassa kicked off National Homeownership Month. As part of this nationwide celebration, USDA is highlighting programs that help people in rural, Tribal, and underserved areas buy, build and repair affordable homes and to pay their rent in America’s smallest towns and communities.
“Home is more than a place. It is where we find rest and refuge at the end of the day and where we can connect with our family and friends,” said Lassa. “Regardless of whether you rent or own your own home, it connects us to the community where we live. At Rural Development we recognize the important role home plays in peoples’ lives and the challenges many are facing with rising housing costs. Through Rural Development’s single and multifamily housing programs, we can help provide homeownership, home repair, and rental assistance opportunities to individuals and families so they have a safe and affordable place they can call home.” [Lassa quote recording | 00:00:34 | 6,381 KB]
Expanding opportunities for homeownership and rental assistance strengthens rural communities and helps families and individuals build wealth and achieve financial stability. This month, the Agency is highlighting the ways that USDA has invested $425 million to help nearly 2,700 families and individuals in Wisconsin’s rural and Tribal communities buy, repair and build homes through USDA Rural Development’s single family housing programs, since fiscal year (FY) 2021.
In addition, USDA works to increase access to affordable multifamily rental housing opportunities in rural America. Rural Development is currently helping nearly 1,500 tenants in Wisconsin afford to pay their rent through rental assistance, since FY 2021. This assistance ensures low-income and elderly tenants pay no more than 30% of their income in rent. For more information, visit Multifamily Housing Programs | Rural Development (usda.gov). For a listing of available rural rental properties in Wisconsin that are eligible for USDA’s rental assistance and tenant voucher programs, visit http://rdmfhrentals.sc.egov.
USDA is also highlighting ways it is working with lenders and community partners to open the door to homeownership for rural Americans who have been unserved or underserved for far too long.
For example, here in Wisconsin, USDA wouldn’t be able to assist as many families and individuals with affordable homeownership through the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program without the help of our private lending partnerships. So far in fiscal year 2022, USDA has guaranteed the loans of 205 families and individuals – an investment of nearly $33.2 million – in partnership with the following private lending institutions:
- Finance of America Mortgage, LLC
- Inlanta Mortgage, Inc.
- Flagstar Bank
- Waterstone Mortgage Corporation
- Cross Country Mortgage, LLC
USDA is hosting events across the nation to showcase affordable housing programs for lenders, community partners, families and individuals. USDA’s single-family housing programs are:
- 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.
- The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program enables USDA to partner with private lending institutions, backing their loans to help families and individuals buy homes in rural areas.
- The Home Repair Loan and Grant Program provides loans and grants to help families and individualsrepair their homes to make them safer, healthier places to live.
- The Mutual Self-Help Housing Grant Program provides grants to qualified organizations to help them carry out local self-help housing construction projects.
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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Wisconsin Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.