A record 2,663 rural Iowa families utilized more than $277 million in home loans offered through USDA Rural Development to achieve their homeownership dreams in 2013. This represents a 16 percent increase in home loan funding from 2012.

A record 2,663 rural Iowa families utilized more than $277 million in home loans offered through USDA Rural Development to achieve their homeownership dreams in 2013. This represents a 16 percent increase in home loan funding from 2012.

“While the past few years have been a financial challenge for many Americans, the goal of achieving the American Dream of homeownership remains strong,” said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa.  “Our zero-down-payment home loan programs are designed to ensure that as many rural Iowans as possible have access to adequate housing.”

USDA Rural Development’s guaranteed home loan program and direct home loan program offer competitive interest rates, fixed terms and require no down payment to help eligible families living in rural communities and areas purchase new or existing homes.  Loans, and some grants, are also available to help families make needed repairs to their homes.

Typical income limits for a household of four are $74,750 for USDA Rural Development’s guaranteed loan program and $47,850 for the direct loan program. Income limits vary by county and household size, so applicants are encouraged to contact their local USDA Rural Development office for limits in their specific area.

Eligible homes must be located in a rural area and/or a community of generally less than 20,000 residents.

USDA Rural Development also currently provides financing for 451 apartment complexes in rural Iowa. These complexes offer rural residents access to more than 9,100 apartments. Apartment rent is based on income, and rental assistance may be available depending on the income of the tenant.

“Expanding and preserving homeownership and housing opportunities is a major part of the foundation for a stronger, more prosperous rural America,” Menner said.

USDA Rural Development’s total investment into rural Iowa this past year reached $498 million, with nearly $300 million helping rural Iowans with housing opportunities. The funding also assisted with a wide variety of job-creation and community-improvement projects and activities.

Funding through the agency’s 40 direct loan, guaranteed loan and grant programs helped more than 2,600 rural Iowa families purchase homes, created or retained more than 1,000 jobs, and assisted 60 communities with improvements to facilities, services and infrastructure.

“Our focus is on the viability of rural communities which are so vital to our state and nation,” Menner added. “These are the places that help support American agriculture and foster an ethic that impacts our workforce, our military and our economy. We are working with communities to create jobs, expand opportunity, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future.”

Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by calling (515) 284-4663 or by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.