USDA Rural Development Program Makes Homeownership Possible for Winslow Family of Five during National Homeownership Month

WINSLOW, June 12, 2017 – A family of five in Winslow can now call a century-old farmhouse in the country their own, as a result of the help and support of USDA Rural Development and partners.

At a celebration at the family’s home on June 9, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Tommy R. Higgins said, “I am so pleased that Esther and Mark can enjoy homeownership in Winslow. Many couples who are denied a home loan due to credit issues feel overwhelmed and sometimes give up. Esther and Mark are proof that families and individuals can work their way back to good credit, and obtain homeownership, through the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Program.”

Esther Bullard, new homeowner said, “Homeownership is a deeply satisfying investment.  To have a place to call our own, where we can express ourselves and raise our children, is what we wanted most.  It was stressful, took a lot of penny-pinching, and at times felt like it would never happen.  The effort was completely worth it.  We are very excited, both to enjoy a house filled with our own tastes, and to pass this asset on in the future.”

During June, National Homeownership Month, USDA Rural Development publicly recognizes homeowners whose determination and effort has resulted in better financial futures.

      Esther Bullard and Mark Bouchard first applied for a mortgage several years ago, but were turned down.  That did not stop them from dreaming of becoming homeowners. 

      They worked hard to pay off credit card debt, took a first time homebuyers class through Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, and got their finances in order. They then met with a mortgage specialist at Kennebec Federal Savings Bank, and were pre-approved for a USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Home Loan in a matter of minutes. 

      Mark and Esther had been watching the real estate market closely for three years, and when they walked out of the bank they already knew their top three houses.  They chose a home within a week and moved in at the end of May, just in time to celebrate National Homeownership Month in their new home. They say it is truly the house of their dreams.  The couple wants other families to know that it is possible to build their way back to good credit and become homeowners. 

     USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Loans require no down payment, which helps to mitigate the risk to lenders so they can make more loans.  In the past decade, USDA Rural Development has assisted a total of 17,285 homeowners to become homeowners through the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Program, resulting in nearly $2.4 billion being invested in homeownership in Maine’s rural communities.

  For questions or more information on how to apply, please contact USDA Rural Development at (207) 990-3676 ext. 4 or visit

     USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor.  There are 54 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine.  Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at


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