News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018490
ContactEmily Cannon990-9175
(SEPTEMBER 27, 2012) USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCES $1 MILLION IN FUNDING TO COMMUNITY CONCEPTS INC. TO INCREASE HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH SELF-HELP HOUSING
Partnership Helps Local Families Build a Dream
Bangor, Sep 27, 2012 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel has announced that Community Concepts, Inc. has been selected to receive a Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grant in the amount of $1,010,000 million to help area families build their own homes.

   “This innovative USDA Rural Development Program supports local families in their dreams of homeownership. While spending months working to build their own homes through hard work, determination, and teamwork, they are literally building a stronger foundation for their family’s future through homeownership. I am so pleased we can play a key role in making homeownership dreams a reality for the 40 Maine families who will build their own homes. ”

The new Self-Help Technical Assistance Grant will provide assistance for an additional 40 homes to eligible families in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec and Oxford counties. Upon completion of the current building season, approximately 255 families will have been assisted in homeownership to build their own homes with technical assistance provided by USDA Rural Development and Community Concepts since 1991.

Community Concepts recruits, trains, and supervises small groups of families as they build single-family homes in a “homebuilders association.” Together, they provide a minimum of 65% of the total building labor needed to complete the homes. The months spent building their homes can save families as much as $20,000 and there's never a payment to make during construction.

Community Concepts Chief Executive Officer Michael Burke said, “This Program succeeds through sweat equity. Participants from all walks of life- from couples to single parents, from ages 18 to 80, those who have the dedication and commitment necessary can work to build their own home through this valuable Program.”

The Self-Help program is a unique program in New England. Families work through snowstorms, ice storms, and extreme cold. Working together with other families, they learn valuable construction skills as they build their house along with the others within their group.

For more information on how to become a homeowner through the Self Help Program, contact Community Concepts Associate Director of Housing and Energy Sandy Albert at 739-6560.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than
$170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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