Q. I am a single parent. Can I still participate in Self-Help Housing?
A. Yes! In fact, 52% of respondents to a recent survey conducted by National Rural Housing Coalition (NRHC) indicated they are single parent households. However, there is no reduction to the labor requirement. All families are expected to contribute the same amount of hours. Hear from single parents who have done the program → Single Parents' Stories.
Q. Can my children help me build the house?
A. To protect their safety, children aged 12 or under are not permitted at the work site. Children 16 years and older are allowed to help build the house, but must be at least 18 years old to use any power tools. (These rules may vary by state and insurance regulations.)
Q. Are families with disabled or handicapped members eligible?
A. Yes. However, there is no reduction in the labor requirement for the participant family. If no member of the household can participate, the USDA State Director has to waive this requirement for household members and the household must find other substitutes (family members, friends, etc.) to fulfill their hour requirement.
Q. Who provides the loan for the land, construction material, fees, and any subcontractors that may be required?
A. The USDA provides loans for the land, construction materials, and any subcontracting that may be required to self-help owner-builders in rural areas.
Q. Can I build my own house and not take part in a group?
No. Each participant family is required to share the labor on all homes within the group. This labor sharing agreement is a fundamental principle of the program.
Q. What if I have a bankruptcy and/or foreclosure?
There is a 36 month waiting period from the date of discharge for bankruptcy and/or foreclosure. There are some exceptions so be sure to check with an agency that has a self-help housing program in your state.