Robert Tapia, a single father of two, is pictured outside the Reedley, Calif. home he proudly helped build with ten other families through USDA's Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan program in partnership with Self-Help Enterprises, which celebrated the completion of its 6,000th home last week. (USDA photo)
The holidays will be extra special this year for 11 families in Reedley, Calif., who received the keys to their homes during a celebration ceremony December 19. The group spent nearly 10 months building each other’s homes through USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan program.
The rules of the program are simple, though not necessarily easy. Ten- to 12 families are grouped together to pool their efforts. Each family is required to put in a minimum of 40 hours a week working on all the homes and no one moves in until every home is completed. Together, families pour foundations, frame homes, install electrical wiring, hang doors and windows and even lay tile and paint. Their labor – “sweat equity” – acts as a down payment for the home, and USDA Rural Development provides the families with mortgages through the Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program. Read more »
Dozens of people gathered in Monticello, Ky., on Wednesday to break ground on a project in which five local families began the process of building their own homes.
Great partnerships can lead to great projects – and this event highlighted several strategic partners that worked incredibly hard to make it happen, including USDA Rural Development, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Southern Tier Housing Corporation, the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE) and the families of Pedro and Omaira Ruiz, Mary and Silvino Castillo, Yvonne Hernandez, Brenda McGuire and Patsy Perdue. Read more »