Regional
3:04 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Big Federal Housing Grant For New Mexico

Las Cruces – The Anthony, New Mexico, organization Tierra del Sol Corporation has received a federal grant of more than $700,000.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $26.6 million in "sweat equity" grants to produce at least 1,477 affordable homes for low-income individuals and families. Funded through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the funding awarded today, along with the labor contributed by these households, will significantly lower the cost of homeownership.

"These grants are about families devoting their own sweat and labor into their American Dream," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "With the help of these organizations and volunteers, families are able to see that dream become reality brick by brick."

The following organizations will receive SHOP funds:

Tierra del Sol Corporation
Anthony, New Mexico
$700,050

Community Frameworks
Bremerton, Washington
$2,978,716

Habitat for Humanity International
Americus, Georgia
$14,664,239

Housing Assistance Council
Washington, DC
$8,333,535

TOTAL
$26,676,540


The SHOP program provides federal grants on a competitive basis to national and regional nonprofit organizations and consortia that have experience in administering self-help housing programs. The SHOP grants must be used to purchase land and install or improve infrastructure, which together may not exceed an average investment of $15,000 per dwelling unit. Leveraged funds must be used for the construction or rehabilitation of these homeownership units. Grantees may carry out activities directly and/or distribute SHOP funds to local nonprofit affiliates that will develop the SHOP units, select homebuyers, coordinate the homebuyer sweat equity and volunteer efforts, and assist in the arrangement of interim and permanent financing for the homebuyers.

All newly constructed and gut rehabilitated units of 3 stories or less will receive certification as an ENERGY STAR Qualified New Home and all appliances and products or features which are installed or replaced will be ENERGY STAR qualified. Water usage products will bear the WaterSense label. Many units will also have "Green", "Healthy Homes" and "Universal Design" features Homebuyers must contribute a minimum of 100 hours of sweat equity on the construction of their homes and/or the homes of other homebuyers participating in the local self-help housing program. Reasonable accommodations are made for homebuyers with disabilities. Sweat equity involves participation in the construction of the housing, which can include, but is not limited to, assisting in the painting, carpentry, trim work, drywall, roofing and siding for the housing. Labor is also contributed by community volunteers. The sweat equity and labor contributions by the homebuyers and volunteers significantly reduce the cost of the housing.

Most of the families who benefit from SHOP homes are first-time homeowners so the new home fulfills a lifelong dream. The organizations that receive the SHOP grants also ensure the new homeowners can afford to stay in their homes for the long term to provide a safe, healthy, stable environment to raise children, access jobs and build community.

Since 1996, when Congress first appropriated SHOP funds, the program and numerous volunteers has provided more than $360 million in federal grants to create more than 24,000 units of affordable, homeownership housing that have transformed lives and neighborhoods.