In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, six low-income families are moving into houses they helped build themselves, thanks to a remarkable program set up by the Interfaith Housing Alliance. Working collectively as a group, participants build their own homes and the homes of their future neighbors, and only move-in when all of the homes are completed.
IHA has created more than 1,100 affordable housing units in the last 20 years through private donations, public grants and “sweat equity”.
The key component of sweat equity is donated in lieu of a down payment. Building the 6 homes required a substantial investment of time (30 hours per week) for a total of more than 1,000 hours over a period of 9-12 months. About 65% of the total construction is performed by participants, who are trained and supervised by experienced IHA construction supervisors.
Thanks to Steve G. for the story idea!