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Safe and Secure Rural Homes: Continuing the Tradition in Kentucky

Posted by Tom Fern, Kentucky State Director in Rural
Feb 21, 2017
Tex Peyton's new home beside the old home
Tex Peyton's new home is shown under construction next to the old one.

USDA celebrates National Homeownership Month each year in June, and we continue to shine the spotlight on projects across the nation. I wanted to illustrate the work we do to provide ladders of opportunity for rural residents who might not have such an opportunity without the support of USDA Rural Development.

I had the pleasure of meeting one such person this week. His name is Tex Peyton and for the past 18 years he lived in a basic two-room house in Eastern Kentucky that lacked indoor plumbing.

Thanks to a team of partners that includes USDA Rural Development, Habitat for Humanity, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and Columbia Pipeline, Peyton now has an affordable energy-efficient house that he is proud to call home – in the community where he grew up in West Liberty.

Habitat for Humanity provided the labor to build the home while USDA, along with our partners at Columbia Pipeline and Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, provided the financing for Peyton to purchase it. The house is incredibly energy-efficient and features a Lennox mini-split HVAC system, low e-argon windows and above-standard insulation in the walls, ceiling and floors – building components that will significantly reduce the monthly cost of heating and cooling the home.

Persistent poverty counties in Kentucky, like Morgan County where Peyton lives, face challenges that are unique to rural communities. They are often geographically isolated, lack educational opportunities, have high rates of unemployment and are usually underserved – qualities that impede economic opportunity and reduce quality of life.

USDA places special emphasis on persistent poverty counties and utilizes a strategy of partnering public resources with local expertise to grow rural economies and create jobs in these poverty-stricken areas. It is because of this emphasis, and the hard work of all our partners, that we had the ability to help Tex Peyton – and the privilege of celebrating with him as he opened his home to us this week.

USDA has a proud tradition of assisting rural residents like Tex achieve the dream of homeownership that encompasses more than 60 years. We look forward to continuing that tradition.

Category/Topic: Rural

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Jun 15, 2015

don't we have assorted agencies to deal with housing?

Thomas Laishley
Jun 16, 2015

This is great and should be done more. I need to run water to my house but the programs are all geared to be handled by agencies to oversee the handling of money with a huge amount of red tape ending nowhere. There should be easy ways for individuals to get direct help. We are not rocket scientist and don't know how to get funding to bring utilities up the hollers. "Fracked" in WV

Ben Weaver
Jun 18, 2015

@Thomas Laishley - thanks for your comment, Mr. Laishley. For more information on our program, please feel free to contact USDA's West Virginia office: We hope they can help you cut through that red tape.

Jun 25, 2015

Are these programs available for USDA employees?