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USDA Rural Development marks affordable housing in Rockingham County

economic-forecast-headerUSDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez today in Rockingham County celebrated affordable rural housing opportunities and National Homeownership Month alongside a local family at its new USDA-financed home.

“Our mission at USDA Rural Development is to improve the economy and quality of life for all rural Americans, and fair, adequate housing is the necessary foundation for growth and sustainability that fuels those improvements,” said Hernandez before today’s event. “We are proud of our impact on rural families and communities, and that impact would not be effective without strong relationships with lenders, home builders, Congressional officials and rural residents.”

The Khader family of Rockingham today gave Hernandez a tour of their new home and Hernandez presented the family with a ceremonial key on behalf of USDA Rural Development. Alias and Ansam Khader are from Iraq and came to the U.S. six years ago as refugees. The Khaders have rented since they arrived in the U.S. and are happy to move into the new home with their three children who are ages 4 years, 2 years and 7 months.

Hernandez presented a certificate of appreciation to the home’s builder, Ramon Holguin, owner of Lucas Home Improvement in Harrisonburg, and Sergii Katykhin, owner of SKAC, a construction company also based in Harrisonburg that has partnered with USDA Rural Development to build a home in the area.

In addition to celebrating the Khaders’ new home, the day’s events highlighted USDA Rural Development housing programs and the affordable opportunities they provide for rural Americans.

To purchase their new home, the Khaders utilized a USDA direct home loan, which is a low-interest option that assists low- and very-low-income applicants in obtaining decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas.

Rural residents can also acquire from approved lenders USDA-guaranteed loans, which offer low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate dwellings in eligible rural areas.

For those who already own a home, USDA Rural Development offers loans and grants for very-low- to moderate-income homeowners that can help repair, improve or modernize homes.

Thus far in Fiscal Year 2016 (as of June 7), USDA Rural Development has worked with 12 homebuyers and 49 lenders in Rockingham County to invest more than $9.5 million in helping families find homes. In Fiscal Year 2015, USDA Rural Development provided more than 4,000 home loans and grants totaling more than $600 million for Virginia residents. Since 1949, USDA has helped nearly 4 million rural residents across the United States buy homes.

For more information about housing programs available in Rockingham County and the surrounding area, contact the USDA Rural Development office in Harrisonburg at540-433-9126 ext. 5. For more information about housing and other USDA Rural Development programs across Virginia, call the agency’s state office at 804-287-1550, email or visit

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