The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $12.8 million in “sweat equity” grants to four nonprofit self-help housing organizations, the department said in a press release this week.

The grants were funded through HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program.

"Today, we make another investment in the American Dream for hundreds of working families," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

"Using their own labor, along with sweat equity from armies of volunteers, these families will construct their own homes and become stakeholders in their own neighborhoods," he added.