Maria and Ignacio Gordillo of Reedley, Calif., helped build their house last year through USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan Program. More than 50,000 rural families have become homeowners using their “sweat equity” as a down payment on an affordable USDA mortgage.
More than 50,000 rural families have become homeowners using their “sweat equity” as their down payment on an affordable USDA mortgage.
What is “sweat equity?” These families have helped build their own homes and provided most of the construction labor with guidance from a qualified construction supervisor through USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan Program. The “sweat equity” — the savings in labor costs — reduced the amount of the home loan and made the monthly payments affordable.
June is National Homeownership Month. USDA is celebrating the self-help program and the 50,000+ rural families who have invested in a home of their own through self-help housing. Read more »
Earlier this month I joined Delaware Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons in announcing USDA funding support for a project that will help 24 limited-income families build their own homes. It’s called Self-Help Housing.
Under the program, limited-income credit-worthy families work together to build their own houses. Usually, about eight families work together under the guidance of a construction foreman and the process takes about a year. The program requires applicants to provide at least 65 percent of the labor, and at closing, this contribution becomes their “sweat equity.” At the end of the process, USDA provides a direct homeownership loan at an interest rate of as little as one percent.
“The Self-Help Housing Program is one that instills a sense of pride in individuals as they work to build the very structure they will live in,” said Senator Carper. “Homeownership is part of the American dream, and programs like the USDA’s Rural Development Self Help Housing Program make that dream more accessible as we work our way out of this long and difficult recession,” Senator Coons said. Read more »
Participating in the ground breaking are (from left) Mary Shearer (Executive Director of Kentucky Habitat for Humanity); Chase Crigler (field representative for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell); prospective homeowner Suzanna Hoskins and her three children; State Director Tom Fern; State Senator Don Blevins and Melissa Patrick (Morehead State University).
History was made in a small rural Kentucky community last week as ground was broken on a new home in Morehead. This project marks the first time that USDA Rural Development and Habitat for Humanity have collaborated to help a formerly homeless single mother take her first steps toward becoming a first-time homeowner. Read more »
Six families gathered in Liberal, Kan., to celebrate the completion of their newly constructed homes. The families utilized USDA Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program administered by the City of Liberal to help construct the homes. The family members devote time and labor to painting, roofing, siding and other types of tasks and lower the cost of construction, while developing equity in their new home.
In 2006, the City of Liberal was awarded a technical assistance grant from USDA Rural Development to begin the Self-Help Housing Program. Through the program, 30 homes have been built in Liberal. USDA Rural Development’s direct home loans have financed $3.9 million in construction for Liberal’s self-help homes. Read more »
In a small, quaint housing development in south-central Pennsylvania, families are constructing new homes with the help of a unique government program. USDA Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program provides mortgage financing to homeowners and a technical assistance grant to a non-profit agency, in this case, Interfaith Housing Alliance. Interfaith supervises the homeowners who do much of the building of their own homes. On June 24th, another six homeowners moved into the 39-lot subdivision.
New homeowner Latia Reed considers the program a gift to her family. She credits her son as her inspiration and strength, and the reason she wanted to accomplish the goal of homeownership. Although the work load was heavy, Reed feels the project was one of the greatest experiences of her life time. Read more »
Local construction contractors attended a June 22nd ‘work day’ event in the Crescent Shores Subdivision in Lincoln, Delaware to tell the audience of volunteers, homeowners and federal and state officials of how the USDA Rural Development Self-Help Housing Program has kept their businesses alive.
The Self-Help Housing Program was established as a path to homeownership for very-low to low-income families, utilizing a sweat equity model. It is the only federally –funded homeownership program specifically for rural America. Read more »