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The purpose of the Self-Help Technical Assistance Grant Program is to provide grant funds to eligible organizations who wish to operate and administer a program to assist needed and qualified families to construct houses in rural areas.

Eligible Applicants Must be an organization which has the financial, legal, administrative, and capacity to administer the grant.
  • Can be a State, political subdivision, or public nonprofit corporation or,
  • Private nonprofit corporation owned and controlled by private persons or interests and organized and operated for purposes other than making gains or profits for the corporation

Applications Pre-applications can be submitted to any of our six area offices throughout the state.

Funding An allocation for this program is maintained by the National Office.    Eligible applicants will be submitted to National Office for funding. Some predevelopment monies are available for preparation of the grant proposals.

Terms Grants are normally made on a two-year basis. Construction is generally in a group fashion, and consists of 8-10 families who agree to mutually provide labor to each other throughout the building period until all houses in the group are completed.    Estimate a 6 to 8 month construction time frame for each group of 8 to 10 families.    Three 8 month building cycles would complete the 24 month grant period.

Use of Grant Funds
  • Payment of salaries of personnel, employee benefits, etc.
  • Payment of necessary and reasonable office expenses such as utilities, equipment rental, office rental, supplies, etc.
  • Payment of liability insurance and audit costs
  • Payment of reasonable fees for training of grantee personnel
  • Purchase, lease, or maintenance of power or specialty tools (power saw, electric drill, saber saw, ladders, etc.). The participating families are expected to provide their own hand tools such as hammers and handsaws
  • Payment of legal costs, accountant fees to set up an accounting system
Loan Limitations The construction cost must be less costly than having a contractor/buider do the job. The maximum grant amounts will be limited to:
  • A TA per unit cost that does not exceed an amount established by the State Director, or
  • An average technical assistance (TA) cost per unit should be no more than 15% of the cost value of modest homes built in the area; or
  • A negotiated amount for repair and rehabilitation type proposals; or
  • An average TA cost per unit that does not exceed the difference between the value of modest homes in the area and average mortgage of the participating families minus $1,000

General Comments The self-help participant must, by agreement, contribute a significant amount of labor in order that house costs will be reduced and made more affordable. Family selected phases should be those requiring semi-skills of the workers and can be performed with on-the-job supervision by the grant program construction supervisor. Families are not expected to perform those construction phases requiring licensed workers. Participants should be prepared to contribute approximately 30 hours of work per week per group member.
Last Modified:06/22/2012 
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