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Volunteers assist Berlin homeowner for National Homeowner Month

July 03, 2012
BERLIN - "Now is the Time" is the theme of this year's USDA National Homeownership Month. For Steve Landry and his family of Berlin, June 28 proved to be just the right time to be a homeowner.

Last Thursday a large group of volunteers and representatives of many agencies gathered at the Landry's Beaudoin Street home to build an extension, put in gardens, paint, insulate the basement, install a new sump pump, fix the wiring, do some plumbing, and clean out the garage.

Volunteers included representatives from USDA Rural Development, Tri-County CAP, the City of Berlin, HUD, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Committee, Sherwin Williams, Better Buildings NH, Central Paving, Roland Berthuime and crew, Dan McCosh with McCosh Light Trucking, Pat Arnold with Arnold Drywall, contractors Shawn Mackillop and David Cordwell of Lancaster, as well as a large group of volunteers with tools or paintbrushes in hand to do whatever's needed.

Janice Gingras, USDA Rural Development Housing Specialist said putting together a day like today is like a recipe, it needs to be enjoyable, not be allergic to, and affordable. And the best ingredients for a recipe like that are donations, skill and volunteers.

"This is one of my favorite things to do all year," Kathy McCosh, CEO Tri-County CAP Weatherization Program Coordinator, said. "It was raining for four days, but look at today. It's great to see everyone come together and do what each of us do. I like to see it all come together."

USDA Rural Development State Director, Molly Lambert said, "what could be more important to the happiness and health of a family than a safe, comfortable and affordable place to call home? USDA is so proud to be a partner with families and individuals like the Landrys throughout New Hampshire to make the dream of homeownership a reality."

Lambert presented the Landrys with an American flag she said she hoped they would proudly fly from their newly painted porch.

"The participation today truly reflects the spirit of cooperation and support for one another in our community," Linda White, Berlin Housing Coordinator said. "So many homeowners in Berlin have been impacted by mill closings, under-employment and aging homes. This is such a wonderful, hardworking family. The Neighborhood Revitalization Program is so pleased to participate with Tri-County CAP and Rural Development on this great project."

Owning a home is the American dream. For more than 60 years, USDA has helped rural residents realize this dream through guaranteed and direct loans. USDA Rural Development has funds available now through the Single Family Housing Direct Loan program to help low-income rural families become homeowners. Interested parties should contact the nearest USDA Rural Development office. A list of those offices is available at www.rurdev.usda.gov/NHVTStateContacts.html

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
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