The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $26.5 million in ‘sweat equity’ grants to produce at least 1,500 affordable homes for low-income individuals and families.
The grants, funded through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), were divided among four nonprofit organizations: Habitat for Humanity International in Georgia, which received $11.2 million; Housing Assistance Council in Washington, D.C., which received $9.1 million; Community Frameworks in Washington, which received $5.1 million; and Tierra del Sol Housing Corp. in New Mexico, which received $983,089.
Under the terms of the SHOP grants, funds are used to purchase land and install or improve infrastructure, which together may not exceed an average investment of $15,000 per dwelling. Home buyers must contribute a minimum of 100 hours of sweat equity on the construction of their homes and/or the homes of other home buyers participating in the local self-help housing program. All newly constructed units must receive certification as an ENERGY STAR qualified new home, and all appliances and products must be ENERGY STAR qualified.
‘These families will become homeowners not only because of our grants, but because they've devoted their own sweat and labor to their American Dream,’ says Mercedes M. MÃ¡rquez, HUD's assistant secretary for community planning and development. ‘Our job is to support sustainable homeownership, and these self-help programs do exactly that.’
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development