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Taking Part in a "Yes We Can" America

Each year, USDA Rural Development assists thousands of limited income Americans achieve the dream of homeownership.  We do it with the support of our partners and our field staff.  Below, cross-posted from the White House website, is the story of one person in Utah who teamed with USDA to make a big difference.

Cross posted from the White House Champions of Change website:

Emily S. Niehaus is the Founder and Executive Director of Community Rebuilds, a nonprofit whose mission is to build energy-efficient housing, provide education on sustainability, and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable program.

In 2008, Presidential candidate Barack Obama declared “Yes We Can.” I, along with millions of other Americans, was inspired by this approach to politics. I understood this message to be a partnership request. I had a role to play. And so I founded Community Rebuilds to address an affordable housing need in my rural community with the larger goal of shifting the existing construction paradigm to have a lighter impact. Community Rebuilds’ mission is to build energy-efficient housing, provide education on sustainability, and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable program.

Utah Business Leaders Discuss Job Creation and the Economy at White House Business Council Event

Last week Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager met with Twenty-two Utah business leaders for a White House Business Council roundtable.  The meeting was hosted by Zions Bank Corporation and USDA Rural Development.  Salt Lake City was one of the 100 communities across the nation to hold a White House Business Council event.  The Salt Lake meeting gave businesses the opportunity to share their ideas for job creation with the White House and USDA.

Tonsager, a key Obama Administration official for rural economic development efforts, sought advice from the business community on ways to improve the economic climate.  The exchange also educated business and community leaders in attendance about resources available through USDA Rural Development. 

USDA Partners with a Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation to Help Utah Families Build their Own Homes

Congratulations were in order for fourteen Cache Valley families in Utah who have a place to call their own after building their own homes through the Self Help Program (MSHP) sponsored by USDA Rural Development.   Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation in Logan runs the program that helps put limited income families in affordable homes through government supported mortgage loans and sweat equity.

Congressman Rob Bishop was the keynote speaker at the ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday, wishing the families the best and thanking them for all they are doing.

USDA Partners to Construct Straw Homes that are Built to Last

The organization “Community Rebuilds” along with USDA Rural Development recently welcomed Sascha Pastler and Colleen Jarrett into their newly completed straw bale home.  A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at their front door.   The large crowd attending was soon invited inside to see the first USDA funded straw bale home in Utah.

Nature Is Their Classroom-USDA Honors a Utah School as they Dedicate new Classrooms

Blue Skies and excitement in the air was the setting for the recent celebration of dedicating three new classroom buildings at Soldier Hollow Charter School (SHCS), in Midway, Utah.  The new buildings were designed to fit perfectly into the stunning mountain terrain.  The school is recognized for its unique learning environment for K-8th grades.

Utah Families Build Their Own Homes With Help from USDA

Now is a good time to build a new home.  Just ask any of the 213 families around Utah County who have built their own homes over the past decade through USDA Rural Development’s Self Help Program. Rural Housing Development Corporation (RHDC) in Provo, Utah is the non-profit organization created to help income eligible families achieve the dream of home ownership.