Albuquerque, N.M. – February 5, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien joined New Mexico State Director Terry Brunner earlier today to honor Deming’s newest homeowners during an open house gathering.

“Today’s open house highlights USDA’s efforts to strengthen rural America’s economy through homeownership,” O’Brien said following a tour of Marianna Wheeler’s new home. “Ms. Wheeler and her neighbor Yvonne Marquez are good examples of how USDA’s helps to provide a better lifestyle for people who choose to live in rural America.”

Marquez and Wheeler – both single mothers – bought their newly completed homes through USDA Rural Development’s housing program. O’Brien and Brunner also honored the non-profit Southwestern Regional Housing and Community Development Corporation (SRHCDC) for being a partner with USDA Rural Development in providing homeownership education and technical assistance to the two women as well as to others seeking homeownership in southern New Mexico.

“We honored these two women during Homeownership Month festivities last June for being approved to buy a home,” Brunner said. “And here we are today touring their new homes – seeing firsthand how these families have made their homeownership dreams come true.”

Marquez and Wheeler qualified for no downpayment home loans through USDA Rural Development’s Direct Loan program, which is available to residents living in rural communities of less than 20,000 people.

In the last two years, Rural Development and SRHCDC have partnered on a variety of single- and multi- family housing developments as well as on job-creation projects to start or expand businesses.

SRHCDC has been an active partner in USDA’s StrikeForce initiative, which among other things helps communities in high-poverty areas become more aware of USDA programs and other resources to help them create jobs and improve the economy. Last June, Brunner presented SRHCDC with a certificate signed by Secretary Vilsack honoring the organization’s many successes as a StrikeForce partner.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Contact Ernie Watson 505-761-4951

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