CAC celebrates Homeownership Month

By Martin Graham -

The local Community Action Commission (CAC) will celebrate national and state home ownership this month.

On June 19 at 2 p.m., the CAC of Fayette County — in partnership with USDA Rural Development and the National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor — will commemorate National and State Homeownership Month at 427 Walnut St. in Washington C.H. This gathering is to congratulate the most recent homeowner currently building his home under the direction of CAC.

“We will celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony and special recognition of state and local dignitaries, and this event will also recognize special guests, elected officials and partners,” Tina Dahmer, loan packager for Affordable Housing Programs, said. “We are very excited to be able to assist yet another borrower with getting a new home. This was a special project because the home the borrower was living in had serious health and safety issues, so he came to see me about his options. Since he had sufficient income and adequate credit, I packaged a USDA 502 direct loan application for him and he was deemed eligible.”

CAC’s Self-Help Housing Program has been in operation since 1993 and has assisted over 300 families in making home ownership a reality. Homeowners qualify for a 502 mortgage with USDA, and work in teams to build their own homes. This process makes the homes more affordable as each family contributes up to 1,000 hours in sweat equity. Community Action Commission oversees the program and provides technical assistance to the homeowners through the USDA 523 Self-Help Program.

“We partnered with the city’s CHIP program and they were able to get the existing house torn down at no cost to the borrower,” Dahmer said. “We then created a custom home plan that would fit on the current footprint of the lot that will be energy efficient. So we not only provided a safe, efficient home for the borrower but we also improved the neighborhood. It’s a win-win. We are very pleased that the city was able to partner with us on this project, which saved the borrower several thousand dollars.”

According to a press release from CAC, USDA Single Family Housing programs have served more then 4.4 million families in rural America since President Truman signed the Housing Act in 1949. Throughout June, USDA employees will celebrate National Home Ownership Month with events across the nation that demonstrate USDA’s commitment to provide access to affordable housing for rural Americans.

CAC of Fayette County Self-Help Housing Program still has locations available. To find out more about the home loan programs, call Self-Help Housing at (740) 335-1831. Event sponsors include SAAD & SAAD LLP Attorneys at law and Star Title Agency LLC.

Stay with the Record-Herald for coverage of the National and State Homeownership Month.

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.

By Martin Graham