September 28, 2022

Families celebrate hard work, new homes; guest audience – St George News

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A New Affordable Home in Hurricane Built Under the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, Administered in Washington County by Self-Help Homes, Hurricane, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Self-Help Homes, St. George News

HURRICANE – Seven other families are preparing to move into new homes they helped build through the mutual aid housing program.

A New Affordable Home in Hurricane Built Under the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, Administered in Washington County by Self-Help Homes, Hurricane, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Self-Help Homes, St. George News

After 10 months of construction and nearly 1,400 hours of work contributed by each family, the group will celebrate with an open house set for Friday, September 9 from 3-5 p.m. at Hurricane. The public is invited.

“These families have worked so hard to complete their homes,” Self-Help Homes spokeswoman Julie Lindquist said in a statement. “We are so happy that they are finally finishing up and starting their new lives, in their own new homes. It’s the American dream.

The group of families all worked together to build their new affordable homes through the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, with help from the nonprofit Self-Help Homes of Utah.

Self-Help Homes, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, is based in Provo, with an office in St. George. Over 500 homes have been built in Utah, Wasatch and Washington counties with the help of Self-Help Homes.

Families and volunteers work to complete homes as part of the Self-Help Homes Sweat Equity Program, Hurricane, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Self-Help Homes, St. George News

The program is funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development. Self-Help Homes receives grants to run the program, and USDA – RD provides counseling and funds the mortgages.

Benefits of the program include a very small down payment, low interest rates, closing costs that are built into the loan, and monthly grants for eligible families. And because Self-Help Homes receives grants to administer the program, there’s no profit or markup on materials. All of these factors save money, reduce costs and make mortgages more affordable.

“These families have shown themselves to be responsible but have no extra money for down payments or closing costs,” Lindquist said. “For most of them, it’s the only way to access their own homes, especially with Utah’s rising real estate prices.”

To be eligible for the program, families must meet income, credit, and employment requirements, and commit to providing 35 hours of work per week on the homes for the 8-10 months needed to complete all of the homes. ‘a group.

Families and volunteers work to complete homes as part of the Self-Help Homes Sweat Equity Program, Hurricane, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Self-Help Homes, St. George News

“Nobody can move in until all the houses are finished,” Lindquist said. “It’s truly a remarkable accomplishment to go through this grueling process of building not just a home, but a neighborhood. We are so proud of them.

Self-Help Homes in Southern Utah is still accepting applications and the waiting list is relatively short. Right now, “high priority” families are urgently needed, Lindquist said. Families of 5 or more earning between approximately $49,000 and $54,750 are considered high priority.

Families who earn less but also have additional family income like child support, Social Security, SNAP benefits, etc. may also be eligible.

The public is invited to the Open House at 404 N. 680 West in Hurricane on Friday, September 9, from 3-5 p.m. A short program will be followed by visits to all the recently built houses.

For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the Caring Homes website, check out the Facebook page, contact Julie Lindquist at 435-429-1048 or [email protected].

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