News

Self-Help Homes in the News


May 17th 2021

Changing Lives: Self-Help Homes

-by National Rural Housing Coalition - Self-Help Homes

The mission of Self-Help Homes is to provide affordable housing opportunities to individuals and families living in Utah. Currently, we serve those living in Utah, Wasatch and Washington Counties that earn less than 80% of the area median income defined as low and very low-income.  With over 40% of our county qualifying as low income, many individuals and families have little access to or possibility to own a home and/or have an affordable place to rent.   Those who are: living on a fixed income, disabled, unemployed, under employed, elderly, have large families with young children, working families, veterans, young families, single parent families, families with special needs and/or medical conditions are those that typically are in need affordable housing and are paying more than 30% of their income toward housing.

Our organization provides affordable homeownership opportunities through the Mutual Self-Help Housing program and home rehabilitation.  We also provide rental opportunities through the development of Low-income Housing Tax Credit program projects.  Much of our project funding comes through USDA-Rural Development who provides the construction and permanent financing for home construction as well as grant funding to our organization to cover administrative costs.  HUD funding through the SHOP, HOME and CDBG programs are loans and grants that also help to purchase and develop affordable land for affordable housing projects.

Over the last 13 months Self-Help Homes has helped over 199 people build their own homes through the development of 40 affordable houses built under the Self-Help program.  Over $8,000,000 in funding has been secured to develop land and single family homes for low-income families.  This year, SHH will have started and/or completed a total of 450 units of single family homes since our inception in 1998.

It is only through USDA Rural Developments programs that have helped us develop this high number of homes to help hundreds of hard working low-income families.

One example of the impact that Self-Help Homes has on the community comes from Toquerville, Utah. Maried in February 2011, Mark and Danielle Clyde have what they call a Yours, Mine and Ours family. As blended families go, they say it went better than expected. From the moment they met each other, the family has been best friends and each other’s biggest supporters, though there is never a dull moment at home. Mark works full time at a manufacturing plant and Danielle works part time at a local grocery store.

Looking to purchase a home since 2014, their family struggled to find one they could afford and big enough for the family. They were starting to feel like maybe it was not supposed to happen. Then in January 2016, they read a news article titled, "Homeowners Needed…Sweat Equity Required.” Danielle was so excited she immediately called Mark. This was an answer to a prayer. However, doubts set in as to whether or not they would qualify. Both had gone through financial hardships years prior and figured they might have ruined their credit enough that they could not qualify. After a final prayer, they decided to try. The next day they filled out an application with Self-Help Homes. They heard back a few days later that things looked good and proceeded with the next step.

One year later, they are pouring the foundation for their future home.

Self-Help Homes is a member of the National Rural Housing Coalition. For more information of Self-Help Homes and the work that that do, please visit their website: http://www.selfhelphomes.org/.