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On behalf of State Director Janie Dunning, Housing Specialist Janine Stephenson recently recognized homeowners, their realtor, and North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) in celebration of June as National Homeownership Month. Stephenson presented a certificate to homeowners Rob and Heather Parsons, recognizing their success at achieving the dream of homeownership. Becky Penrod and Dorothy Penrod, realtors with Penrod Real Estate, as well as Debbie Smith, NECAC Homeownership Programs Director, were also recognized for their partnership in assisting to make the dream to come true.
Two years ago, the Parsons set a goal for themselves to purchase a home of their own. As time went on, they found several houses they liked but were not sure of how to obtain financing or where to even start. The Parsons searched the internet for information on home buying, credit worthiness, and financing options. They came across an article about homeownership education and began their journey with a class presented by Debbie Smith at NECAC. She in turn referred them to Rural Development where Stephenson assisted them in obtaining financing. Then Becky Penrod, their realtor and family friend, assisted in the search for their dream home. When these three links came together to form a chain, their dream of homeownership became a reality. The Parsons, along with their three children, were able to close on their loan and move into their first home.
“I’ve said this before but would like to extend a big thank you to everyone involved,” said Rob Parsons. “This opportunity is something that fills most Americans’ hopes and dreams. Without the wonderful programs—USDA Rural Development, NECAC, and so many others—people like us probably would never have that chance of actual fulfilling their dream. What makes those mentioned programs so great isn’t just the program itself but the people on the front lines working tirelessly; answering countless questions, providing support, getting the word out, driving here and there, and the list goes on.”
Every June, USDA Rural Development celebrates National Homeownership Month to bring attention to the role housing plays in the U.S. economy. This year’s theme, “Own Your Future. Own Your Home,” celebrated the rural families who are working their way into the American dream by investing in a home of their own.
USDA Rural Development programs that support rural homeownership include:
•Direct home loans for very-low-income applicants. Payment assistance is provided that can lower the loan’s interest rate to as low as one percent.
•Guaranteed home loans for moderate-income families. The agency works in partnership with private-sector lenders to back the lenders’ loans.
•Home repair loans and grants to help rural homeowners make improvements or repairs. Examples include making homes accessible for people with disabilities or removing health and safety hazards like poor wiring or plumbing.
Further information on these housing programs or other Rural Development programs is available by visiting USDA Rural Development’s Missouri web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo or by contacting Stephenson, Area Specialist, at the New London Rural Development office, 17623 Highway 19, New London, Mo. 63459; by phone at (573) 985-7211, Ext. 4; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org