Industry News

Elbow grease turns low-income families into homeowners

Federal grants awarded to those who help build own housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday announced $26.8 million in "sweat equity" grants to help low-income families become homeowners. The funds are awarded to families that contribute at least 100 hours of their own labor to building or rehabilitating their own homes. The funding is provided through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), which employs volunteers, experienced tradesmen and the hard work of applicants themselves. By contributing time and their own labor, families join volunteers and contractors to construct or rehabilitate their homes. These funds will be used by three national or regional organizations and their affiliated local organizations to purchase land and make infrastructure improvements, primarily in the construction of new homes. HUD will award the $26.8 million to the organizations based upon their experience in managing a sweat equity program. Habitat for Humanity International will receive $14 million in funds; H...