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HUD awards $10 million in “sweat equity” grants

More than half the money going to Habitat for Humanity

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced this week that it is awarding $10 million in “sweat equity” grants to a group of nonprofit housing organizations.

The money comes from HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program. The funds, combined with labor contributed by the homebuyers and volunteers, will lower the cost of homeownership for certain buyers.

According to HUD, through the program, homebuyers contribute “significant sweat equity” toward the development of their housing units or the units of others participating in the local self-help housing programs.

Sweat equity and volunteer labor may include landscaping, foundation work, painting, carpentry, trim work, drywall, roofing, and siding for the housing.

A minimum of 100 sweat equity hours is required from a household of two or more persons, while a minimum of 50 sweat equity hours is required from a household of one person.

Community participation in the form of volunteer labor contributions is also required to earn the grant money.

According to HUD, the grant award winners may carry out activities themselves and/or distribute SHOP funds to local nonprofits that will develop the SHOP units, choose the homebuyers, coordinate the sweat equity and volunteer efforts, and assist in the arrangement of financing for the homebuyers.

The grantees work to ensure that the homebuyers can afford their homes at the time of purchase and in the future as well. According to HUD, many SHOP homebuyers are first-time homeowners and come from underserved groups.

In this round of grants, more than half of the money is going to Habitat for Humanity. According to HUD, the grant of $5.3 million will be used by Habitat for Humanity to complete a minimum of 284 SHOP units, which will be sold to low-income homebuyers who have contributed a significant amount of sweat equity toward the construction of their homes.

Here’s the full grant breakdown, courtesy of HUD:

Organization Grant Amount
Housing Assistance Council in Washington, DC $1,202,032
Community Frameworks in Spokane, Washington $1,338,071
Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation (Consortium) Anthony, New Mexico $2,138,174
Habitat for Humanity International, Americus, GA $5,321,723
TOTAL $10,000,000

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