February 22, 2005
BERNARDI AWARDS NEARLY $27 MILLION IN 'SWEAT EQUITY GRANTS' TO HELP LOWER INCOME AMERICANS BECOME FIRST-TIME HOMEOWNERS
Record SHOP funding will create more than 1,700 new homes for lower income families
WASHINGTON - With a hammer, some nails and a little elbow grease, more than 1,700 families will discover their own American Dream because of nearly $27 million in 'sweat equity grants' announced today by Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi. Provided through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the funding taps into the power of volunteerism, the experience of tradesmen and the hard work of the families themselves to increase homeownership.
Bernardi announced the grant awards in Naples, Florida as he joined officials from Habitat for Humanity International to present the keys to a new home to one Florida family. The funding announced today represents a record level of support in the history of HUD's SHOP program.
"This is one program that really taps into the American can-do spirit," said Bernardi. "With the sweat off their own brow, families will invest of themselves to realize their American Dream of homeownership. The funding we announce today will also support this Administration's goal of creating seven million more affordable homes over the next decade."
"The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program is such a strong fit with Habitat for Humanity's work and mission,"; said Paul Leonard chief operating officer of the nation's largest nonprofit homebuilder. 'The SHOP program helps families earn the dream of a simple, safe and decent place to live, not just through government help, but through their own hard work and sweat equity.
The three national or regional organizations awarded these funds are (see summaries below):
|1. Habitat for Humanity International||$14,000,000|
|2. Housing Assistance Council||$10,000,000|
|3. PPEP Microbusiness and Housing Development Corporation||$ 2,840,700|
Those who benefit from SHOP funds contribute at least 100 hours of their own labor to help make a house their home. By contributing time and their own labor, families join volunteers and contractors to construct or rehabilitate their homes. These funds will be used by three national or regional organizations and their affiliated local organizations to purchase land and make infrastructure improvements, primarily in the construction of new 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.
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, landscaping, carpentry, trim work, drywall, roofing and siding for the housing. Labor contributed by volunteers also helps buyers who are unable to perform their sweat equity tasks due to disabilities. Persons with disabilities who are unable to perform manual labor can provide administrative support. By contributing their own labor to the construction or rehabilitation of their home, the homebuyers and volunteers significantly reduce the cost of the housing.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and 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 and espanol.hud.gov.
FY 2004 SHOP Grantees
Habitat for Humanity International $14,000,000
121 Habitat Street
Americus, GA 31709
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 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. HFHI will produce a minimum of 934 housing units.
Ms. Donna Golden
Housing Assistance Council $10,000,000
1025 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005
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 that will ultimately produce a minimum of 627 housing units.
Mr. Moises Loza, Executive Director
PPEP Microbusiness and Housing Development Corporation $2,840,700
820 E. 47 th Street, Suite B-14
Tucson, AZ 85713
PPEP Microbusiness and Development Corporation (PPEP) is the lead agency for the Rocky Mountain/Hi Coalition Consortium. This regional Consortium will use SHOP funds in rural areas for land acquisition and infrastructure improvements that support the development of self-help housing in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Consortium members will provide funds to local affiliates. Each local organization is permitted to design its program in compliance with SHOP requirements. The homebuyer must contribute a significant amount of sweat equity toward the construction of the house. The Consortium will produce a minimum of 169 housing units.
Ms. Jeanne V. Shaw