Speaking to Heather Powell, one can tell she is a woman who is certain of what she wants. A disabled mother of three daughters, she found herself wanting more than just renting a house in rural Somerset, KY. The location was nice, the backyard was large, but she found herself paying more and more for rent without the satisfaction and stability of homeownership. So Heather decided that despite her economic conditions that it was time for a change.
“Going after this loan was one of the best things I’ve done in my life,” stated Heather. During her search for a home, she felt discouraged that traditional lending institutions wouldn’t provide the loan. However, her spirits were lifted when she came across an ad in a homebuyer’s magazine which read “low-income families welcome.” She picked up the phone and called JustChoice Lending. Heather didn’t know it at the time, but that phone call marked a great day not just for her family but for JustChoice Lending as well. Heather obtained financing she could and JustChoice Lending packaged its 100th USDA Rural 502 Direct Loan, a milestone that stands as proof and validity of hard work and perseverance.
The USDA Rural 502 Direct Loan is important because it allows the chance for low-income families to obtain homeownership at a low interest rate. These loans can be used to purchase an existing home or to purchase a site and construct a home. For Fahe and our members, the USDA Rural 502 Direct Loan can and does have a huge impact on the families we service. Because of this, Fahe, its members, and other nonprofits from around the country went to Washington, DC last year to fight against proposed budget cuts that would have effectively crippled the program. In the end, the program received only a 30% cut and we are still able to offer it to deserving families.
For Heather Powell’s family, their home symbolizes many things: stability, accomplishment, love, and pride. “I really wanted to give my children a home. Though they miss the size of the old yard when we lived in the country, they like being in town and they like being able to call the house their own.”
Heather’s story is not unique. In fact, her previous living conditions were better than hundreds of other families in impoverished communities such as Appalachia live in right now. Programs such as the USDA Rural 502 Direct Loan are important because they provide a chance for these families to have a better life. Quality of life dramatically improves with better housing. Health improves, participation in educational pursuits increase, and those who were previously unable are now provided with an opportunity to give back to their community.
“I feel that the program is a wonderful opportunity for people with low incomes”, stated Heather. ”I couldn’t have got this loan through a bank. It’s pretty amazing for a single mother to get a home at this rate. I really hope this program lasts. It needs to be available for others so they can have the same experiences as my family.”