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Rebuilding Lives: Celebrating Homeownership Month

Posted by Joyce Allen, Deputy Administrator of Single Family Housing, USDA Rural Housing Service in Rural
Jun 24, 2016
USDA Works with Families to Realize Their Dreams of Homeownership infographic
USDA Works with Families to Realize Their Dreams of Homeownership infographic. Click to enlarge

Five years ago, Christy Carr seemed like a long shot as a future homeowner.  She was a newly divorced, unemployed mom of five, and her credit score was in the 300’s. The home she shared with her children had no heat, no electricity and no running water. A neighbor let Christy run an extension cord to his garage outlet just so that the family could keep the lights on. Since they had no car and only a cooler to keep their food cold, they walked to the store three times a day.

In order to rebuild her life, Christy had to find work and clean up her credit score.  After many interviews, Christy was offered a good job at a marketing company. She was able to move into an apartment but it was too small to house all of her children, and her older sons had to stay with another family member. At the same time, Christy brought her student loans out of default and paid off old marital debts. After 18 months, her credit score had risen by 300 points, and she was able to open a credit card secured through her bank.

With her financial situation improving, Christy focused on finding a safe place to raise all of her children under one roof. She applied for USDA’s Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program and made an offer on the house of her dreams.  The professional staff in Ohio’s USDA Rural Development office were able to help her through the process, with Christy eventually closing the loan and moving her family into their new home. Now, she can continue to invest in not only her family and their future, but her community as well. In the last eight years, one third of USDA’s Direct Home Loans have been allocated to single-parent households like Christy’s.

Christy Carr is just one of the many deserving people that Rural Housing Service staff help each year to realize their dream of homeownership. Since 2009, we have assisted 1.1 million homeowners with USDA home loans, including more than 69,000 very-low income homeowners. USDA also provides home repair loans and grants that make it possible for people in rural communities to make necessary repairs and upgrades to their homes. Over the last eight years, USDA has helped more than 63,000 very-low income homeowners make essential repairs.

During Homeownership Month, we honor and thank all of the people who work with us to Build Communities Together. If you think homeownership is right for you, contact your local Rural Development office to learn about the assistance that may be available.

Christy Carr and sons
Christy Carr and her sons on the front steps of their new home, financed by USDA Rural Housing Service. Photo credit: Lori McCoy
Category/Topic: Rural