Illinois REALTORS® President Matt Difanis (right) speaks at an event sponsored by Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs (left) in Champaign on Feb. 6, 2018. Frerichs and Difanis were helping promote a new package of programs designed to increase investment in rural communities.

Illinois REALTORS® President Matt Difanis was on hand in Champaign on Tuesday to help the state Treasurer’s Office promote a program which aims to get financing to those making investments in rural areas.

Called the Invest in Rural Illinois Programs, the effort includes the Treasurer’s Finally Home initiative which works with lenders to provide assistance for qualified potential homebuyers in rural areas.

Difanis attended the press conference in Champaign at the invitation of Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

Those living in rural areas statistically have a harder time obtaining financing for a home purchase. Rural areas often have less in the way of housing stock, and the cost of housing is high relative to income levels. That can make it hard for homebuyers and others to get the loans they need to stay in rural communities.

“Because we work with so many people, our members know first-hand how hard it can be for many of those who live in rural areas of the state to realize the American Dream of Homeownership,” Difanis said at the event. “And, for those who really do want to enjoy the many benefits of homeownership, gaining access to the credit necessary to finance a home purchase can be difficult.”

Difanis praised Frerichs for taking steps to make sure rural areas remain vibrant. He said the program helps “micro-target” funds where they are most needed.

The Treasurer’s office has a webpage with all the program information.