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USDA Announces Over $2 Million In Affordable Housing Funds For Arizona


Grant Funds to Assist 128 Families Achieve the Dream of Homeownership

PHOENIX, Nov. 9, 2005-The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the award of over $2 million in USDA Rural Development grants to help limited-income Arizona families build their own homes. Natural Resources and Environment Under Secretary Mark Rey made the announcement here today as he hosted the latest in a series of Farm Bill Forums in which members of the public are invited to express their views about farm and rural policy, in preparation for the development of the next farm bill in 2007. Joining Rey in making the announcement was Arizona Rural Development State Director Eddie Browning.

“It is gratifying to see the kind of community support that these mutual self-help programs generate,” said Rey. “For each of these projects, the towns, the nearby tribal communities, and community advocates have given overwhelming thumbs up for the programs.” Rey noted that all of the homes will be built in communities where the amount of affordable housing is critically low and where the poverty rate is especially high.

Rey and Browning presented ceremonial checks totaling over $2 million to two Arizona non-profit groups who will use the funds to develop mutual self-help housing projects in three Arizona counties. Housing America Corporation received $1.7 million to provide assistance to families who will build homes in Yuma and Mohave Counties. The Community Action Human Resources Agency received $337,000 to provide assistance to families in Pinal County.

Under USDA Rural Development Mutual Self Help Program, families or individuals work together to build all of the homes in the group. The homes are completed at the same time and no family can move into a home until all are finished. The cost of the home is greatly reduced because the builder’s labor becomes “sweat equity”. The funds announced today will assist the non-profit agencies that will oversee group development, qualifying, counseling, and construction. A total of 128 homes will be constructed.

“Both non-profits have proven track records of providing the American dream of homeownership to families and individuals who otherwise who never be able to own a home of their own. The pride of homeownership is infectious in these communities, where the participants often speak of building a neighborhood, not just a home,” said Browning.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life in rural communities. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development has invested over $63 billion since the beginning of the Bush Administration to provide equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Over 1.1 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s web site at


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