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October 19, 2011
COMMUNITY FRAMEWORKS OF BREMERTON WINS $3 MILLION IN HUD SWEAT EQUITY FUNDS FOR 159 MORE UNITS OF SELF-HELP HOUSING IN IDAHO, MONTANA, OREGON & WASHINGTON STATE
SEATTLE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $2,978,716 in "sweat equity" funds to Community Frameworks, Inc., of Bremerton and Spokane to produce, through 13 of its affiliates, at least
159 self-help units for low-income families in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Community Frameworks was one of four organizations to win a total of $26.6 million funding today to produce 1,477 sweat equity units under HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) program. The other winners were Habitat for Humanity International of Americus, Georgia, the Housing Assistance Council of Washington, D.C.
and the Tierra del Sol Corporation of Anthony, New Mexico.
Since Congress established the SHOP program in 1996, Community Frameworks has used SHOP funds to help build 2,826 self-help houses. Up to $15,000 in SHOP funds per home may be used to purchase land and install or improve infrastructure at a cost of no more than $15.000 per dwelling unit. Actual construction includes substantial "sweat equity" of volunteers, including the family that will own the home.
"These grants are about families devoting their own sweat and labor into their American Dream," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "With the help of these organizations and volunteers, families are able to see that dream become reality brick by brick."
"Self-help housing is labor-intensive, but it is also the surest, swiftest and, probably, most rewarding way to homeownership for many families," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "Though a regional organization, Community Frameworks is a national leader in the self-help movement and we look forward to working with it, its affiliates and its volunteers in the months and years ahead."
The SHOP program provides federal grants on a competitive basis to national and regional nonprofit organizations and consortia that have experience in administering self-help housing programs. The SHOP grants must be used to purchase land and install or improve infrastructure. SHOP funds may not exceed an average investment of $15,000
per dwelling unit. Other leveraged funds must be used for the construction or rehabilitation of these homeownership units. Grantees may carry out activities directly and/or distribute SHOP funds to local nonprofit affiliates that will develop the SHOP units, select homebuyers, coordinate the homebuyer sweat equity and volunteer efforts, and
assist in the arrangement of interim and permanent financing for the homebuyers.
All newly constructed and gut rehabilitated units of 3 stories or less will receive certification as an ENERGY STAR Qualified New Home and all appliances and products or features which are installed or replaced will be ENERGY STAR qualified. Water usage products will bear the WaterSense label. Many units will also have "Green", "Healthy Homes" and "Universal Design" features.
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. Reasonable accommodations are
made for homebuyers with disabilities. Sweat equity involves 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. Labor is also contributed by community volunteers. The sweat equity and labor contributions by the homebuyers and volunteers significantly reduce the cost of the housing.
Most of the families who benefit from SHOP homes are first-time homeowners so the new home fulfills a lifelong
dream. The organizations that receive the SHOP grants also ensure the new homeowners can afford to stay in their homes for the long term to provide a safe, healthy, stable environment to raise children, access jobs and build community.
Since 1996, when Congress first appropriated SHOP funds, the program and numerous volunteers has provided more than $360 million in federal grants to create more than 24,000 units of affordable, homeownership housing that have transformed lives and neighborhoods.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.