|Aug 01, 2013 --
Outline Of Need:
Bill Joseph, his wife Bertha, and their three children moved back to Majuro in 2001. Since their return, they had been living in his parents' house, caring for his elderly mother. Living with extended family in limited space can be hard, and Bill had been working to try and change that with hopes to have a new home for his family.
How Rural Development Helped:
Working with the Marshall Islands Development Bank, Bill and ten other families went through the process of building each other's homes through USDA Rural Development's Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. Through the program, participants are required to spend 40 hours per week building each other's homes. At the end of the process, they had invested their time and hard work which reduced the cost of their home. Once all the homes in the group were completed, families could then move in.
Bill first learned about this opportunity from friends and family on Majuro who had previously participated in the program. He and his family members continued to work full-time jobs and still found the time to work on building the family homes, reaching the required number of hours needed for the program.
In May 2013, the Joseph family moved into their new home. "It's been a very long time, but we now have a sense of freedom and are grateful for everyone's help," Bill said.
In recent years, the partnership between USDA Rural Development and the Marshall Islands Development Bank has allowed 23 low-income families on Majuro to achieve the dream of homeownership through the Mutual Self Help Program.
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