Department promotes resources and opportunities to help rural residents

Special to the Opelika Observer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary, Bette Brand, kicked off National Homeownership Month June 1 by highlighting USDA’s ongoing role in supporting rural homeownership. President Trump issued a proclamation on May 29 recognizing June as National Homeownership Month.

“Promoting rural housing programs affords Alabamians the opportunity to reach the American Dream,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Alabama Chris Beeker.

To assist homeowners facing current hardships, USDA is offering payment moratoriums and modified application processes. USDA Rural Development is also working with new borrowers and their lenders to make special accommodations based on local needs and restrictions. For the most up-to-date information on Rural Development’s response to COVID-19, visit Updates are also distributed via Twitter @usdaRD.

In Alabama, USDA invested over $434 million to help 3,191 families and individuals buy homes. The state also provided $458,776 for home repairs for 71 very low-income rural residents.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure mprovements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit