SNOW HILL, N.C. (WNCT) – A Greene County man is moving into his home with the help of a loan program from the USDA Rural Development.

“I’m really excited to be a homeowner,” said Ryan Roberts after Monday’s ceremony. “I’m really happy the USDA has this program because it really made it possible.”

Roberts applied for the Section 502 Direct Loan Program.

“Essentially we can do 100% financing,” said Reginald Speight, the USDA Rural Development state director. “We can be the bank. If an individual doesn’t have a financial institution, we as the USDA rural development can be the mortgage holder. We also have a guaranteed program that individuals who have marginal credit or have some issues with their credit that we can be the dual guarantee.”

Programs like this are helping people across North Carolina, especially in rural areas.

“Our programs are targeted to low and very-low-income families, which is so important in this area,” said Aaron Gaskins, the USDA area director for the Kinston region. “With a program like this, you can very easily get into your first home with an affordable mortgage, it can be comparable to rent or even less.”

In a time when affordable housing is getting harder to find, Speight said they’re here to help not just Roberts but others like him.

“It’s not just affordable housing but housing in general,” Speight said. “You don’t have to go too far to see we have a housing shortage. It’s not just because of COVID, it’s not just because of supply change, it’s because of the ability to navigate the quote on quote finding what affordability is. In rural development, we are a tool in the toolbox.”

It’s a tool that Roberts said has been life-changing.

“This is a dream since middle school,” Roberts said. “I grew up pretty poor so just be able to have this achievement is really heartwarming.”