5 families needed for sweat-equity home building program

TOQUERVILLE – Self-Help Homes is seeking five families who want to become homeowners but can’t quite qualify for a traditional mortgage. The families – or individuals – are needed to complete a new group of seven homes in Toquerville and LaVerkin neighborhoods.

Self-Help Homes is a non-profit organization created to help eligible families achieve the dream of home ownership. Groups of families work as a team to provide “sweat equity” to build all of the homes in their group.

Program participants contribute 65 percent or more towards building their homes. At least 35 hours each week must be logged; half of those hours can be contributed by friends, family or other volunteers. All the families work on all of the homes in the group; no one can move in until all of the homes are finished.

Many families form strong bonds with other families in their group, building friendships and community in the process. Earlier this month, a group of six local families completed construction on homes in Toquerville and LaVerkin, close to the site of the next group.

“We have enjoyed getting to know each family,” new homeowner Danielle Clyde said. “We each come from very different backgrounds and each have different stories to tell but in the end, we all have one common goal and that is to work together as a team to help each other achieve our dream of building and owning a home.”

The houses which are built with the aid of Self-Help Homes have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. They have approximately 1,500 square feet of finished space plus a full unfinished basement or bonus attic room. Each homeowner is able to choose from a palette of paint colors, cabinets, tile, carpet, molding and other finish details.

Mortgages arranged through the program total between $219,000 and $234,000 and are administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. Most of the down payment is fulfilled with sweat equity. Interest rate subsidies are available for some applicants and can bring the rate down to 1 percent. Monthly payments are approximately $850 to $1,000.

The homes are built generously sized lots which are .25 acre or larger. Lots and their pre-assigned house plans are chosen at the time of application and in the order in which families apply – first come, first served.

To qualify for the program, a family of one to four people must earn between $32,000 and $54,150 annually, have low debt and good credit. Larger families can earn up to $71,500. For more information about qualifications, see this webpage.

Self-Help Homes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization based in Provo. More than 400 homes have been facilitated throughout Utah through the organization’s Mutual Self-Help Housing program.

How to apply

Five families are needed for the upcoming group of homes; however, more projects are on the way and Self-Help Homes is always accepting applications for the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program.

For more information, contact Self-Help Homes by calling 801-375-2205 Ext. 111 and asking for Halie. Or, visit the nonprofit organization’s website .

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