National Homeownership Month
Elsie Meeks is the USDA Rural Development State Director and Lori Moen is the Grow SD Chief Operating Officer. Throughout June, USDA is marking National Homeownership Month by promoting the agency's efforts to provide affordable housing in small towns and rural communities, including tribal lands. In fiscal year 2012, USDA's Rural Development Department made 105 home loans to low-income borrowers in South Dakota and also guaranteed the mortgages on nearly 1300 homes sold or refinanced across the state. In 2010, USDA launched the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, a program intended to reduce poverty and improve life in rural areas through better access to federal funding. This year the StrikeForce initiative was expanded to ten additional states, including South Dakota. Grow SD is a partnership organization working with the USDA Rural Development's loan programs.