The U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off Monday “National Homeownership Month,” highlighting its role in helping people buy homes in rural areas across the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico.
Since 2009, the agency has invested more than $2.6 billion to support rural home ownership in Puerto Rico, said José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development State Director for the Commonwealth.
In 2015 alone, the USD invested more than $277 million to help 2,464 local rural families buy or make repairs and safety upgrades to their homes, he said.
USDA builds strong relationships with lenders, homebuilders, realtors, community developments organizations, non-profits, and housing finance authorities to provide homeownership opportunities to very-low, low and moderate income individual in rural areas.
“Owning a home helps promote stable communities and is one of the best ways American families can build wealth,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “During the Obama Administration, USDA has helped more than 1 million rural families and individuals realize their dream of homeownership. This year, our celebration of National Homeownership Month will focus on some of the many organizations that have worked with us to make this achievement possible.”
USDA recently announced a series of changes that took effect this week that will make faster and cheaper for rural homeowners with USDA backed mortgages to refinance their loans and save money with a lower interest rate.
Interested homeowners with USDA loan guarantees should contact their lender about refinance procedures. Homeowners with mortgages through USDA’s Direct Loan program should contact a USDA housing specialist.