Ken Irons of Community Concepts Inc. hands Renee Rogers the keys to her new home. Rogers also received the framed photo as a gift from the USDA Rural Development office.

BRIDGTON — Welcome home Renee Rogers. It’s something Rogers never thought would be possible. “It’s a miracle. I have wanted a home my whole life,” said Rogers after she was handed the keys to her new home in Bridgton.

Rogers’ journey to homeownership began a couple of years ago when she first took a home buyer education class through York County Community Action. After completing the course, Rogers was referred to Community Concepts for the Self-Help Homeownership Program. Working together with other families, Rogers was able to learn valuable construction skills and build her own home.

Shawn Yardley, chief executive officer of Community Concepts, said, “Since 1991, we have helped 331 families across western Maine realize the dream of homeownership thanks to this program. It’s one of the best programs that the government offers and it’s truly a partnership between USDA Rural Development, CCI and, most importantly, the families who are pursuing the American dream of homeownership.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office provides low-interest mortgage loans for eligible families and, in many cases, those monthly mortgage payments are less than rent, said Timothy Hobbs, state director of USDA Rural Development, during the Rogers’ celebration.

Barbara Crider, executive director of York County Community Action, as well as representatives from Sens. Collins’ and King’s offices and Congresswoman Pingree’s office joined in the celebration. Rogers’ three-bedroom, two-bathroom home sits on just over five acres in Bridgton. Rogers thanked everyone for such a wonderful homecoming and said she liked seeing everyone’s faces because it took a lot of people to help turn her dream of homeownership into a reality.

Welcome home Renee Rogers. From left are Timothy P. Hobbs, state director, USDA Rural Development; Leslie Merrill, constituent services representative, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s office; Gail Kezer, regional representative, Sen. Angus King Jr.’s office; Renee Rogers, homeowner; Shawn Yardley, chief executive officer, Community Concepts Inc.; Barbara Crider, executive director, York County Community Action; and Kate Simson, state office representative, Sen. Susan Collins’ office.

To learn more about the Self-Help Homeownership Program, contact Community Concepts at 207-739-6514 or [email protected] Community Concepts’ subsidiary, Community Concepts Finance Corporation, also offers homebuyer education classes. Call 207-333-6419 or visit for the latest class schedule.

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