Affordable Financing for Appalachian Homebuyers

$25 million in mortgage funding for low-income homebuyers in Central Appalachia is now available through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE). Loans will feature payment assistance and interest rates as low as 1 percent to ensure affordable monthly payment. For those who qualify, 100 percent financing and alternative credit analysis are available.

In an interview with WYMT, Scott McReynolds of the Housing Development Alliance in Hazard, Kentucky, and Jim King, President and CEO of FAHE, say it’s a win-win for homebuyers and communities. “Not only does someone get a safe decent place to live, but it’s also economic development for the region,” McReynolds is quoted as saying. Adds King, “You’re buying your lumber at the local store, and suppliers and involved. So this puts a lot of people active into the economy.”

According to a press release, this is the first partnership of its kind nationwide and gives nonprofit lenders unprecedented access to fast-track the deployment of federal funds. Known as the 502 Demonstration, these funds will be made available based on USDA’s existing Section 502 Direct Loan program.

Headquartered in Berea, Kentucky, FAHE is a membership-based network comprised of 47 local organizations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. FAHE provides access to capital that creates housing and promotes community development. Last year FAHE deployed around $40 million to provide housing solutions to 4,000 families.

FAHE will administer the funds through its mortgage division, JustChoice Lending, which is certified as a Fair and Safe Lender. Interested homebuyers can find more information at