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A New Home for the Holidays in Michigan

Posted by James J. Turner, Michigan State Director, USDA Rural Development in Rural
Feb 21, 2017
 Kelseigh Weber gets a housewarming gift from Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez and USDA Rural Development Specialist Laura Leplow as Michigan State Director James Turner and Rebecca Weber look on.
Kelseigh Weber gets a housewarming gift from Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez and USDA Rural Development Specialist Laura Leplow as Michigan State Director James Turner and Rebecca Weber look on.
 Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez, Michigan State Director James Turner, and Plainwell, Michigan community members at the new City Hall sculpture.
Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez, Michigan State Director James Turner, and Plainwell, Michigan community members at the new City Hall sculpture.

During this holiday week, I couldn't help but think of my recent visit with Ms. Rebecca Weber of St. Johns, Michigan – about twenty minutes north of our state capital of Lansing. USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez and I were able to meet Ms. Weber and hear her inspiring story.

USDA Rural Development in Michigan has forged a valuable partnership with Habitat for Humanity, where USDA provides the necessary financing for these families to build their homes. Rebecca Weber is one of the shining examples of success coming from that partnership. Rebecca is a hard-working single mother who built her home this year with the help of Habitat for Humanity and USDA Rural Development. Rebecca was so dedicated to getting this home build, that when heavy rains this summer forced a six-month delay due to standing water, she enlister her mother and together they bailed out the property with five gallon buckets to get things back on schedule.

Rebecca told us her motivation was her daughter Kelseigh, as she wanted Kelseigh to have a home, something Rebecca didn't have. Now those two are enjoying their first Christmas in their new home, and I'm genuinely pleased to know we played a role in helping them achieve this dream.

We also had time to visit Sunrise Apartments in Keeler, Michigan. This off-farm labor housing is currently under renovation with financing made possible through USDA Rural Development. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the next growing season, and the site was buzzing with activity. When finished, the complex will serve approximately forty farming labor families as they rotate through the various harvests.

Tony and I stopped by the new City Hall in Plainwell, Michigan – financed by USDA Rural Development – and the site of an eyesore and environmental hazard left behind from a shuttered paper mill. Plainwell community leaders worked with USDA Rural Development to renovate and rehabilitate the site into a community focal point, and even salvaged abandoned equipment from the mill to make an impressive sculpture for the property.

All in all, it was a great cross-section of the many ways USDA Rural Development is helping to improve the quality of life in rural Michigan. Happy holidays, everyone!

Category/Topic: Rural

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Comments

Nancy
Jan 20, 2015

Just remember they own your life for the life of the loan. And I do mean OWN your life. And when you get done paying off the loan you can then pay them back for the subsidy you got. Don't ever ever help out someone who is homeless for a few weeks because if they find out and they will find out. You will be persecuted for months. If you can't prove the person moved out they are going to kill your subsidy and put you on a huge payment. Buyer beware.