-by Donna Birke – blogs.usda.org
Now is a good time to build a new home. Just ask any of the 213 families around Utah County who have built their own homes over the past decade through USDA Rural Development’s Self-Help Program. Rural Housing Development Corporation (RHDC) in Provo, Utah is the non-profit organization created to help income eligible families achieve the dream of home ownership.
From August 2000, RHDC has built 213 homes with another 21 homes under construction. In just over six months a group in Payson, Utah completed their homes working under the direction of a construction supervisor, contributing more than 65 percent of the construction labor on each other’s homes. Each family volunteered a minimum of 35 hours per week to carry out construction activities such as framing, roofing, painting, finish work, along with landscaping their yards. The homes are three-bedroom, two-bath and measure between 1200 and 1350 square feet of finished space with full-unfinished basements. The mortgages, with structured, affordable payments will be administered through USDA Rural Development’s Direct Home Loan Program.
A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house was held recently for seven Payson families in celebration of National Homeownership Month. The program included Dave Conine, Utah State Director for USDA Rural Development who presented a “Recognition of Excellence” plaque to Brad Bishop, RHDC Director. Other dignitaries attending included, Dwight Peterson, Utah Director of Housing and Urban Development, Mike Glenn, Utah Division of Housing and Community Development, along with State, and local leaders.
“Self-help housing is an on-the-job training offering participant’s important skills in the construction trades and much more. The experience acquired in building self-help neighborhoods includes valuable workplace skills such as teamwork, time management, budgeting, organizing activities, and cooperation with co-workers. Your degrees in Self-help housing will provide to be one of the greatest treasures you earn in this program,” commented Conine. Then the state director thanked Brad Bishop, and his dedicated staff for consistently delivering great service and quality self-help homes constructed on time and within budget. He closed his comments by wishing all the new home owners a long joyful residency in the community they have created.