Frequently Asked Questions

Mutual Self-Help Housing is a group method of home construction for low to moderate income households. The group provides mutual labor exchange in the construction of their homes.


Any individual or household interested in making a commitment to building their home and future financial security.


Income from employment or seasonal jobs for all members in the household who are 18 or older. Other incomes used are, for any member of the household, benefits from social security, unemployment, public assistance, child support, VA benefits, etc.


No. However, the applicants must have proof of permanent residency.


No. Marital status is not one of our eligibility criteria.


Generally, 8-14 households make up a build group. We coordinate building assignments with all participants in a team environment .


Typical homes are 3 or 4 bedroom with 2 baths and an attached two car garage. The square footage generally runs between 1,000—1,400 square feet. Two bedroom plans are also available if necessary, due to lending restrictions.


Most of the work is performed during the weekends and evenings. Coordination between homebuilders and the Construction Supervision team is key to the group’s success.


Each household is required to provide a combined total of at least 30 hours per week. One person is designated head of household and must contribute at least 15 of the 30 required hours. The remaining 15 hours are provided by “helpers” (co-applicant, any child 16 years or older, friends, or relatives).


Yes. All of the homes in the group must be complete, inspected, and passed by all inspection agencies before homebuilders can move in.


USDA-Rural Development (RD), formally known as the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), is the lender. The construction loans provided by RD cover the cost of the land, construction materials, utilities, closing costs, Builders’ risk insurance, and subcontracted labor.


There is NO down payment. However, there are some costs associated with the self-help program. The cost is determined by your cost of your homeowners’ insurance, tools, and credit report fees.


No. Your first mortgage payment will be determined by Rural Development after the final inspection on your home. This prevents you from having to pay rent and a mortgage at the same time.


The mortgages through the USDA-Rural Development offer a payment subsidy based on your household size and income. Also, your hard work gains you sweat equity instead of a down payment. You are able to move in with immediate equity.


The loans fixed-rate amortized over 33 years. Under certain circumstances, they may be extended out to 38 years.


Contact Community Home Builders office either by dropping in or calling and requesting an application be mailed to you. You can also print forms from Links/Forms page of this Website.


YES!!! You don’t know until you try! If it is determined that you are currently ineligible, we offer assistance in helping you maintain your goal and reach your dream of owning your own home.


Because the program is funded through the USDA-Rural Development, all homes must be built within rural communities. We are currently building in Lafayette, Oregon.