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USDA invests $542 million in homes for low-income rural Oregonians in 2020

USDA Rural Development

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development said Monday it invested a record $542.6 million this year to help more than 2,225 low-income rural Oregonians purchase, build or repair their homes.

"The rising cost of housing and limited inventory has made homeownership unattainable for many low-income families living in rural Oregon communities," said John Huffman, state director. "USDA's housing programs give hard-working families the leg up they need to make the leap into homeownership."

Through USDA's Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, Rural Development helped 2,074 rural Oregonians with limited income purchase a home. By guaranteeing private sector mortgage loans, USDA helps to reduce the risk for private lenders so they can make additional financing available for low-income families. 

The Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program made homeownership attainable for 117 rural residents that did not qualify for traditional bank loans by investing $28.9 million in loans that offered low interest rates and had no down payment requirement. 

Through the Single Family Housing Repair Program, Rural Development invested $295,000 in 30 low-interest loans for very-low-income rural homeowners and $192,600 in 28 grants for low-income seniors to enable them to complete critical repairs to their homes that they could not otherwise afford.

This funding was provided in federal fiscal year 2020, which ended on Sept. 30. All recipients of USDA homeownership funding must personally occupy the dwelling as their primary residence and meet income eligibility requirements. Applications for these programs are accepted year-round.

These investments represent the highest level of homeownership funding by USDA in Oregon in the last decade. Over the past 10 years, Rural Development has invested a total of $4.9 billion to help low-income rural Oregonians buy safe, affordable homes or mitigate health and safety hazards so they can remain in their homes. These investments help families build equity and improve their financial outlook for the long term.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/or.

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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