By Keli James, PR communications coordinatorNeighborWorks Great Falls

The National Rural Housing Coalition (NRHC) held a Capitol Hill briefing Tuesday to release its new report, “The Mutual Self-Help Housing Program: Reflecting on 50 Years of Success.” The report outlines the program’s impact, which assists eligible families achieve homeownership.

The report also recognizes and commemorates the 50th anniversary and 50,000th home built through the Section 523 Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. Since the program implementation 50 years ago, 50,000 homes have been built and 1,308 children now have a safe and decent place to call home, according to NRHC.

“In non-metropolitan communities, where rental housing is often difficult to secure due to lower incomes and access to affordable credit options, Self-Help is creating homeownership opportunities for those who need it the most—tangibly improving the quality of life in rural America,” said Bob Rapoza, NRHC’s executive secretary. “In fact, families, through the Self-Help program have logged in an average of 1,189.9 hours per house, all while working their regular jobs and providing for their family.”

Administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Section 523 Mutual Self-Help Program teams several families together to help build each other’s homes.

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