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Neighbors build each other’s homes in Wasco

ABOVE: Edgar and Naomi Bermudez shuffle rock that will be used for the foundation of their new home in Wasco. Dozens of families in Wasco are building new homes for each other, taking part in a program funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and guided by the nonprofit, Self Help Enterprises. The new homeowners don’t need a dollar for a down payment. Instead, they are required to do 40 hours of work on the home every week. The development in Wasco consists of 33 homes, with 10-12 in each of three waves. Learn more from KBAK/KBFX in...
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Self-Help Homes groundbreaking in Provo, UT

Construction begins for seven families in Provo, Utah. Project supported by Self-Help Homes. FULL STORY: Seven families in Southern Utah are anxious to get started on what will be their new homes. A groundbreaking ceremony in LaVerkin last Wednesday turned over shovels of dirt, that will soon become a foundation. Four of the new homes will be built in LaVerkin and the other three in Toquerville. The families are part of Self-Help Homes. They all received low interest loans from the government to build each others homes. The program is growing in Southern Utah as word continues to get...
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Dear Colleague: Support Adequate Funding for USDA Rural Housing Service in the FY19 Budget

Congressmen Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Jim Costa (D-CA) are leading a Dear Colleague in support of USDA Rural Housing programs. Below, find the letter. Support Adequate Funding for USDA Rural Housing Service in the FY19 Budget DEADLINE: March 12, 2018 Dear Colleague, Please join Representatives Sean Duffy and Jim Costa in sending the following letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies to respectfully request adequate funding for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing and water sewer programs. USDA Rural Housing programs provide a critical lifeline to low-income, rural families. Through low-cost loans, grants, and other assistance, USDA programs improve housing conditions and quality of life in rural America. For example Section 502 Direct Loan Program, which has helped more than 2.1 million families realize the American Dream and build their wealth by more than $40 billion, is the only federal homeownership program that exclusively targets low- and very-low income rural families. The program provides essential funding to fill in the gap in the private market, allowing families who would otherwise be unable to access affordable mortgage credit achieve homeownership. The Section 523 Mutual Self-Help Housing program is another critical component of USDA’s Rural Housing initiatives. Self-Help Housing, which celebrated its 50 year anniversary and 50,000th family served in 2015, is the only federal program that combines “sweat equity” homeownership opportunities with technical assistance and affordable loans for some of America’s neediest rural families. Rural water –sewer loans and grants are essential for building communities. Our rural communities are in dire need of affordable, livable housing. Please join us in supporting rural districts all over the country by signing this letter. Please contact Ryan McCormack in Rep. Duffy’s office (Ryan.McCormack@mail.house.gov) or Ben Goldeen in Rep. Costa’s office (Ben.Goldeen@mail.house.gov) if you would like to sign or have further questions. Support Adequate Funding for USDA Rural Housing Service in the FY19 Budget Sending Office: Honorable Sean P. Duffy Sent By: Ryan.McCormack@mail.house.gov Support Adequate Funding for USDA Rural Housing Service in the FY19 Budget DEADLINE: March 12, 2018 Dear Colleague, Please join Representatives Sean Duffy and Jim Costa in sending the following letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies to respectfully request adequate funding for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing and water sewer programs. USDA Rural Housing programs...
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FY 2019 Appropriations Request Forms

Below are appropriations request forms for FY 2019: FY 2019 Self-Help Approps Request Form FY 2019 MPR Approps Request Form FY19 DOL Approps Request Form FY 2019 Section 516-514 Approps Request Form FY 2019 Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Loans Approps Request Form FY 2019 Section 502 Approps Request...
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New Census Report on 2015 Poverty and Income Highlights the Urban/Rural Divide

Today, the US Census Bureau released their annual report on poverty and income. Economists predicted an increase of 1 to 2 percent in incomes in 2015, but the report showed a surprising 5.2 percent increase. A closer look at the data reveals a stark contrast between the economy in urban and rural communities. Urban Areas on the Rise Inside of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), median incomes grew by 6 percent. Much of that growth was confined to cities dwellers, whose incomes rose by 7.3 percent compared to suburban and exurban residents, whose incomes rose by a more modest 4 percent. This is the largest increase in median income since before the Great Recession. The poverty rate declined in MSAs, dropping from 14.4 percent in 2014 to 13.0 in 2015. Inside MSA cities, poverty dropped sharply, from 18.9 percent in 2014 to 16.8 percent in 2015, and in the surrounding suburbs, it dropped from 11.8 percent in 2014 to 10.8 percent in 2015. Rural Communities Continue to Stagnate In 2015, rural* median incomes declined by 2 percent, which is just inside of the margin of error.  Poverty remained stagnant, increasing a statistically insignificant 0.2 percent in 2015 and settling at 16.7 percent. Regardless of whether the decline in rural economic conditions was statistically significant in 2015, it is clear that rural communities were left behind last year as our economy continued to grow modestly. Rural mortality and out-migration continues to hinder growth in small towns and farming communities. In fact, the number of rural residents living in poverty actually declined by about 10 percent, from 8.2 million in 2014 to 7.4 million in 2015, but because of population loss, this decline was not reflected in an accompanying decline in the overall poverty rate. *Includes both micropolitan statistical areas and territory outside of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas Crossposted at the National Rural Housing...
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