USDA reports housing success

USDA reports housing success Rural Housing Service (RHS) invested $65.5 million in South Dakota housing and community facilities projects during 1999, according to Dallas Tonsager, state director for Rural Development.

"We have several housing and community facilities services which have excelled, however, two significant loan programs deserve mention for 1999: the Guaranteed Housing Loans at $49.2 million and Multi-Family project loans of $3.8 million," said Tonsager.

The guaranteed housing loan program guarantees loans made for housing by local lenders. Tonsager said it has grown in size from $9.4 million in 1994 to $52.4 million in 1998. He credits the success to increased visibility for the program and being user friendly for lenders.

Two national awards were received by Rural Housing Service in 1999. The agency was recognized for its work with developing and financing multi-family housing projects on Indian reservations for the funding of four projects in South Dakota. Rural Housing also received recognition for spreading community facilities funding into more rural communities (19) than other states.

Dwight Wullweber, Rural Housing director in Huron said, "Our staff have distinguished themselves for thoughtful and careful placement of program dollars into as many South Dakota towns as possible. They have also done a great job of financing multi-family housing projects, which seriously helps some of the most needy."

Projects funded were seven day care centers of $773,000, two assisted living facilities for $787,000 and three fire departments for $246,000. There were seven other essential facilities funded in the state by RHS.

USDA Rural Development Rural Housing Service is celebrating 50 years of providing housing opportunities to rural America. USDA Rural Development invested $86.3 million dollars in rural South Dakota communities through loan and grant programs in 1999.

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