HUD No. 07-094
June 27, 2007
HUD SECRETARY TOURS HABITAT SUBDIVSION IN KNOXVILLE, TN
HUD funding and "sweat equity" help build 41 homes for low-income families
KNOXVILLE - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson joined Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam today to tour October Woods, constructed by Habitat for Humanity and funded through HUD. Through its Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), HUD has invested more than $697,000 in the land and infrastructure of October Woods that will be home to 41 low-income families in the community.
"HUD and Habitat have always been strong partners-we give them dollars and they make miracles," said Jackson. "Nearly $697,000 in Self Help Homeownership Opportunity Program funds were provided for infrastructure and land to create this neighborhood. It was money well spent."
While touring October Woods, Jackson visited the home of resident JoAnna White, who was in the Habitat program for two years before the completion of her home. Ms. White earned over 500 "sweat equity" hours by attending a weekly budget class and a variety of other housing counseling classes. Her house was one of seven built recently in a Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build.
SHOP grants are provided to national and regional nonprofit organizations, like Habitat that have experience in providing self-help housing. These funds are used to purchase land and install or improve infrastructure, which together may not exceed an average investment of $15,000 per dwelling. Homebuyers 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.
Throughout National Homeownership Month, senior HUD officials have attended Habitat for Humanity home builds planned during the month of June across the country, met with current and prospective Habitat for Humanity homebuyers and toured Habitat home sites that HUD has helped to make possible.
"I want to thank Habitat for Humanity and all of those who are working cooperatively with vision and dedication to bring affordable housing to Knoxville," said Jackson. "You can see the benefits of our programs in this community and I thank you for your strong commitment to HUD's mission."
June marks National Homeownership Month. This year's theme - "Promoting and Protecting Homeownership" - is designed to promote first-time homebuying; to encourage both potential and current homebuyers to learn about the responsibilities that come with homeownership; and to help consumers both read and understand the fine print of a mortgage. There are 2,300 HUD-approved housing counseling programs around the country that help potential and current homeowners learn about safe loans products available through the FHA's mortgage insurance programs and other responsible lenders. FHA's mortgage loans have helped 36,000 people stay in their home and avoid foreclosure.
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, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.