The Mutual Self-Help Housing Program started in Brookings in 1996, with the first homes constructed in 1997. The Watertown project started in 1997, with the first homes completed in 1998. Since that time, the program has expanded to cover ICAP’s service area and has assisted over 115 participants in building new, affordable high-quality homes.

ICAP, as grant recipient and project manager, locates families interested in participating in the program and assists them in establishing their eligibility for a home loan from USDA-Rural Development or another suitable lender. When a group of participants (usually 4 to 5 households) is formed, they all work together to build homes for all of the group members.

No construction experience needed—we will teach you everything you need to know. Some tasks will be completed by professionals but everything else is up to you and the other members of your group. In addition to your new home, you will be gaining valuable skills in budgeting, construction, maintenance and home repair.

ICAP contracts with a construction supervisor to work with the home-builders and teach them the various skills they need in order to construct their homes. In addition, ICAP has received funds from the Housing Assistance Council under the Self-help Housing Opportunities Program (SHOP) to use in developing building lots for participants in the Self-Help Housing program.

Historical Data

Year Began


Total Homes


Area Served

Lake McCook, Miner, Deuel, Moody, Clark, Minnehaha, Codington, Brookings, Grant, Hamlin, Lincoln, Turner, Kingsbury

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