In The News

Families build lives one house at a time

By July 3, 2010April 12th, 2021No Comments

-by Sbrina Nelson – Daily Herald

EAGLE MOUNTAIN – Four families received the keys Thursday to their new homes in Eagle Mountain after spending more than six months working together to build them as part of a federal program.  “You learn a lot, you know where everything is, you know how to fix it,” said Haley Forsythe, one of the participants. “It takes up a lot of your time, be prepared. Next Saturday will be the first Saturday in six months that we will have time to just do what we want.”  There are seven non-profit organizations in Utah who participate in the Single Family Rehab and Reconstruction program, a United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development program that is funded through the Rural Housing Development Corporation.  The program allows families to participate in a group and build their own homes with the help of a certified construction manager. The four families had to work together and no one in the group was awarded the keys to their home until all the families in the group had finished construction.  “It allows families, usually it’s a group of 8-10 families, to get together to build their own homes under the direction of a construction supervisor.” said Janice Kocher, USDA-RD Housing Director. “The construction manager actually teaches the families how to build their own home.You do not have to have any construction experience to participate.”  Each family must volunteer at least 35 hours a week working on their own home until construction is complete. To do this they can have other family members or friends volunteer. The families must provide 65 percent of the total construction work on their own home.  The program has a high success rate and a low loan default rate. The amount of the home loans varies depending upon the family’s income. Additionally, each home is subsidized, so the cost for the home after completion also varies for each family.  The delinquency is less because no one wants to lose their house after spending nine months of (their) life through the rain, winter, snow or heat, building their home,” Kocher said. “Overall, it’s a great partnership.”

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