Self-Help Facts

  • In 2015, celebrations were held around the country to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Self-Help Housing program and reaching the milestone of over 50,000 homes built through the USDA Self-Help Housing program, providing affordable housing opportunities for rural Americans with limited means.
  • USDA works with about 100 Self-Help Housing grantee organizations located throughout the United States that supervise groups of individuals and families as they collectively construct their own homes. If you are interested in learning more, find a Self-Help Housing Organization near you.

  • Families provide about 65% of the construction labor (more than 1,000 hours) on each other’s homes. Families can redue the cost of their home by as much as 30 percent. With affordable mortgages from USDA and savings from “sweat equity”, some of America’s poorest families can become homeowners.

    More than 50% of families who benefit from this program are Hispanic, Latino, African-American or other families of color who typically face greater barriers to affordable housing. More than 40% of families who benefit from this program are women-led households.

  • USDA Direct home loans (502 loans) help low and very-low-income applicants. Payment assistance that can lower the loan interest rate to as low as one percent is provided. Very low-income people living in substandard housing are given first priority for loan assistance.
  • The Housing Assistance Council reports that every 100 homes built under the Self-Help program create 324 jobs, $21.1 million in local income, and $2.2 million in tax revenue.>/li>

  • Homeownership provides a strong foundation that helps people build household wealth, start a business, fund education through home equity, and climb ladders of economic opportunity.

Self-Help Housing builds strong rural communities. Visit National Rural Housing Coalition’s USDA Self-Help Housing page to learn more.