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Pugh family achieves home ownership through USDA Rural Development program

USDA Rural Development success ... Consuelo Pugh, daughter of Victor and Allison Pugh of Philip, plays with the family dog outside of their new home in Philip.

After five years of apartment living, Victor and Allison Pugh and their daughter Consuelo, are living in their own home. The Pugh's have been working the past few years to reach a financial position where they could purchase a home. This was no easy task with their partially fixed income.

Last year, they contacted USDA Rural Development and began learning about the 502 single family housing loan program with subsidized interest as low as one percent. Once they applied for USDA Rural Development assistance, and were certified eligible, they found a property that met their needs and USDA Rural Development requirements. The affordable loan payment made it easier to qualify. "Our biggest concern was having too high of a payment," said Allison Pugh. "We're comfortable making the subsidized payment. This program worked really well for us."

Today, they are homeowners and are making improvements. One of the first things they did was paint some of the walls. Consuelo wanted a pink and purple room. Her parents made her wish come true. Victor likes fixing and tinkering on the house and garage. "It's like a new kind of freedom that isn't available in apartment living; like the freedom to paint our daughter's room pink and purple," said Allison.

"Owning a home helps families build economic security through an asset that can be passed on to the next generation," said USDA Rural Development State Director Jafar Karim. "It builds pride in the community and is an important part of the American way of life. We are committed to helping as many people as possible achieve the American Dream of owning their own home."

USDA Rural Development staff, located in eight offices across the state, assist families like the Pugh's to determine whether there is a program available to help them own or repair a home.

Nationwide, USDA Rural Development helped 43,900 rural families become homeowners in Fiscal Year 2007. So far in 2008, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $2.9 billion to help 31,000 families buy homes. From 2001 through 2007, those totals rose to $29 billion and 317,124 families assisted.

For more information, contact a local USDA Rural Development office or visit USDA's website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.