By Keli James, PR communications coordinator Nat'l Self-Help1

During National Homeownership Month, communities across the country celebrated the pride of homeownership.

To help families in rural communities achieve the American Dream of homeownership USDA and its partners created the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. Families contribute “sweat equity” by building their own and their neighbors’ homes. This reduces construction costs and can save as much as $20,000 on the cost of a home.

The USDA has partnered with more than 100 non-profit Self-Help Housing Organizations and helped 50,000 rural families realize that dream. This year at The National Self-Help Housing Conference in San Antonio, TX, July 21-23, celebrates 50 years and 50,000 homes.

The Mutual Self-Help Housing Program has been shown to increase minority homeownership in rural communities: Over 50 percent of the homes were built by Native American, Hispanic, Latino, African-American and other people of color. Women-led households also participate successfully in this program. Since 2008, 41 percent of self-help homes were built and bought by women-led households.

Under the USDA contract, RCAC provides assistance to grantees in the western United States to successfully complete the production of single family financed housing under the Mutual Self-Help Housing program.

Read more:

RCAC’s Self-Help Housing Resources:

Register for the National Self-Help Housing Conference: