ALBANY- Congressman Sanford Bishop received a ceremonial big check Friday for $6,690,180 from F. Stone Workman, State Director of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development for the state of Georgia, to celebrate Home ownership Month.
The check represents federal loan funds that helped 171 families in the Second Congressional District become new homeowners in the last year and a half through USDA Rural Development.
"For many families, purchasing a new home is a watershed event. By facilitating home ownership for lower- and middle-income families, USDA Rural Development provides a fresh start to those families and, in the process, also gives a little boost to the local economy," said Bishop. "I am so pleased to be here today to receive this check, and even more pleased to be able to thank Stone in person. USDA Rural Development has served the Second Congressional District of Georgia very well."
USDA Rural Development has been making home loans in rural Georgia for 58 years. Programs have evolved with the times and have proven essential for some families.
According to Workman, for many moderate and low income families USDA Rural Development is the only lender. Furthermore, the agency provides an option to families who are sometimes living in unsafe housing conditions but who have credit that would keep a regular lender from taking a chance. USDA Rural Development can help them gain access to decent housing and most of those loans are eventually converted to conventional loans.
Rural Development has several programs for rural Georgians. For those wanting to buy their first home, Rural Development can make a direct or a guaranteed home loan to qualified families. Income limits are different for each county and are based on median household income and the number of people living in the dwelling.
The guaranteed rural housing program has been growing steadily since its inception in 1991 and is for moderate income families. Almost $1 billion has been invested in Georgia through this program with 22,221 families becoming homeowners. The loan is made through a regular lender and Rural Development guarantees up to 90% of the loan.
All housing programs are administered out of 21 local offices around the state. Office locations and phone numbers can be found on the website at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ga
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