HUD No. 03-115
October 27, 2003
BUSH ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $25 MILLION IN 'SWEAT EQUITY' GRANTS TO HELP LOW-INCOME FAMILIES BECOME HOMEOWNERS
New home sales exceed one million for seventh month in a row
WASHINGTON - They work for their 'American Dream' by contributing at least 200 hours of their own labor to help make a house their home. More than 2,400 low-income families will become homeowners because of $25 million in "sweat equity grants" announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez.
Meanwhile, HUD and the Census Bureau today released data showing that new home
sales rose in September to the third highest rate on record. An estimated 1.145
million new homes were sold last month- an increase of 8.3 percent from September
of last year. Today's figures represent the seventh consecutive month home sales
exceeded one million.
The funding announced today is provided through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) that employs the power of volunteerism, the experience of tradesmen and the hard work of applicants themselves to increase homeownership. President Bush is proposing to significantly increase funding of HUD's SHOP program next year to $65 million, signaling his commitment to increase minority homeownership by 5.5 million families by the end of the decade.
"Families who invest of themselves to become homeowners are the real winners,"
said Martinez. "With a hammer, some nails and a little elbow grease, thousands
of families will now be able to help themselves discover their own American
Three national or regional organizations will be awarded these grants to help families build or rehabilitate their own homes (see attached chart):
|Habitat for Humanity International||
|Housing Assistance Council||
|Northwest Regional Facilitators||
SHOP grants are used to purchase land and make infrastructure improvements, primarily in the construction of new homes. By contributing time and their own labor, families join volunteers and contractors to construct or rehabilitate their homes.
HUD's SHOP grants are competitively awarded based upon an organization's experience in managing a sweat-equity program. Other factors include identifying its community's needs, generating other sources of funding and the soundness of its program design. For more information on the SHOP program, visit Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP).
The release of new home sales today is also evidence of continued strength in the U.S. housing sector.
"Today's new home sales report clearly demonstrates this Administration's commitment to making it easier for more families to realize the dream of homeownership," explained Martinez. "The President's housing initiatives will help more Americans, particularly minorities, to achieve that dream."
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.
SUMMARY OF FY 2003 SELF-HELP HOMEOWNERSHIP
OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM (SHOP) AWARDS
|Habitat for Humanity International||$13,233,636|
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a national nonprofit organization that will use SHOP funds in urban, suburban, and rural areas to facilitate and encourage innovative homeownership opportunities through the provision of self-help housing. SHOP funds will be used to purchase land and make necessary infrastructure improvements, primarily in support of new construction. Local affiliates will compete for SHOP funding from HFHI on a national basis. Completed properties will be transferred to homebuyers who contribute a significant amount of sweat equity, in addition to other volunteer labor, toward the construction of the house. HFHI will produce a minimum of 1,324 housing units.
|Housing Assistance Council||$7,998,213|
Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit organization that plans to use SHOP funds in primarily rural areas for land acquisition and infrastructure improvements that support new construction. A portion of the SHOP award will be used for administration, planning and management development. Local organizations developing self-help housing will compete for SHOP funding from HAC on a regional basis in order to achieve a national distribution of funds. Each local organization is permitted to custom design how it will use the funds in compliance with SHOP requirements. The homebuyer must contribute a significant amount of sweat equity toward the construction of the house. HAC will produce a minimum of 742 housing units.
|Northwest Regional Facilitators||$3,854,026|
Northwest Regional Facilitators (NRF) is a regional nonprofit organization located in Bremerton, Washington, serving primarily the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana. NRF and 26 local participating affiliates will use SHOP funds to purchase land and make necessary infrastructure improvements for construction of new housing. A portion of this SHOP award will be used for administration, planning and management development. Each local organization is permitted to custom design how it will use the funds in compliance with SHOP requirements. The homebuyer must contribute a significant amount of sweat equity toward the construction of the house. NRF will produce a minimum of 346 housing units.