For many, the dream of homeownership may seem unattainable, particularly in rural and agricultural communities. However, homeownership remains one of the best ways for lower-income individuals and families to build equity, increase credit-worthiness, start a business, or fund higher education. You may be surprised to learn that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has played a major role in helping lower-income families become homeowners in rural areas across the United States since 1949. That's right, the same folks who inspect and certify the meats and produce we buy at the grocery store have also been helping Americans in rural and agricultural communities build and purchase homes for more than 60 years.

To celebrate National Homeownership Month in June, the USDA will be hosting events and activities across the U.S. to support their efforts helping families find a path to homeownership. Just a few of the programs the USDA participates in or offers include the Mutual Self-Help Housing program, loan guarantee partnerships with private-sector lenders, grants for necessary repairs to address accessibility needs or repair of home safety hazards, and even direct loans for low and very-low-income families.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the USDA's Mutual Self-Help Housing program and the completion of the 50,000th home constructed since the program's inception. Through this program, the USDA provides grants and partners with trusted organizations in local communities to assist families in constructing their own homes with the help of fellow community members.

To learn more about USDA-sponsored events celebrating National Homeownership Month, visit the USDA Facebook page [Link:].