|John E. Hall|
February 25, 2010
HUD ANNOUNCES $9.1 MILLION IN "SWEAT-EQUITY" GRANTS TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $9.1 million in "sweat
equity" grants to the Housing Assistance Council in the District of Columbia to produce affordable homes for low income individuals and families. Funded through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the funding awarded today, along with the labor contributed by these households, will significantly lower the cost of homeownership. For more information, go to the SHOP website at http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/shop/.
"These families will become homeowners not only because of our grants, but because they've devoted their own sweat and labor to their American Dream," said Mercedes M. Márquez, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. "Our job is to support sustainable homeownership and these self-help programs do exactly that."
SHOP grants will be provided to national and regional nonprofit organizations and consortia that have experience in administering self-help housing programs. The funds must be used to purchase land and install or improve infrastructure, which together may not exceed an average investment of $15,000 per dwelling. Grantees may carry out activities directly and/or propose to distribute SHOP funds to local nonprofit affiliates that will acquire and
prepare the land for construction, select homebuyers, coordinate the homebuyer sweat equity and volunteer efforts, and assist in the arrangement of interim and permanent financing for the homebuyers.
Homebuyers must contribute a minimum of 100 hours of sweat equity on the construction of their homes and/or the homes of other homebuyers participating in the local self-help housing program. Self-help housing or sweat equity involves the homebuyer's participation in the construction of the housing, which can include, but is not limited to, assisting in the painting, carpentry, trim work, drywall, roofing and siding for the housing. All newly constructed units must receive certification as an ENERGY STAR Qualified New Home and all appliances and products or features which are replaced in rehabilitated units must be ENERGY STAR qualified.
Labor contributed by volunteers also helps buyers who are unable to perform their sweat equity tasks due to disabilities.. The sweat equity and labor contributions by the homebuyers and volunteers significantly reduce the
cost of the housing.