-by Julie Applegate – St. George News
ST. GEORGE – Self-Help Homes is looking for more families to participate in a sweat-equity home ownership program. Self-Help Homes program participants build their own homes, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Self-Help Homes, St. George News Participants who qualify can get a low-interest home loan and groups of families work together as a team to provide sweat equity to build all the homes within the group.
Six families are already building on lots in Toquerville and LaVerkin and five more families are needed.
“They’ll be able to put in their sweat equity, they’ll learn their skills (of) how to build,” Brad Bishop, executive director of Self-Help Homes, said. “They’ll get a nice three-bedroom, two-bath home with either a basement or an attic.” “It’s just a great opportunity for them to get into a home, with the high costs of homes today,” Bishop said. The six families already enrolled in the program and building houses are a diverse group, Self-Help Homes spokeswoman Karen Weatherspoon said.
Among them are a teacher, manufacturing workers, a caseworker, a cashier, fitness instructors and a registered nurse. One of the families, that of Mark and Danielle Clyde, has seven children in their blended family and struggled to find a home big enough for everyone. They began looking for a home in 2014 and had gotten discouraged, but an article in St. George News prompted them to apply for the program, Danielle Clyde said in a statement. This was an answer to a prayer “I was so excited and immediately called Mark at work to tell him what I had found. Mark and I knew about the program because we have several friends who have built with Color Country and Five Counties (Five County Association of Governments) but knew they were no longer doing the program and did not know who to contact. This was an answer to a prayer,” Danielle Clyde said.The family started on the first home in their group in October 2016 and hope to finish by June, she said.
There are six families in their building group, and they have enjoyed getting to know each one. “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,” Danielle Clyde said. “We are so grateful for a program like this that makes it possible for families like ours to be able to have a home we can call our own – and to be able to say that we did 65 percent of the work makes it that much more special.” No matter their varying backgrounds, the families are all able to find the time to work together as a team for the required 35 hours per week per family to build the six homes in their group, Weatherspoon said in an email.