Sweat Equity Grants to Fund Affordable Low-Income Housing

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:23am
Digital house being painted by rolling brushes
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in October it has allocated nearly $27 million in grants to go toward producing nearly 1,500 homes for low-income families.
This large sum of money, funded by HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), will be given in the form of “sweat equity” grants. Sweat equity grants award money to individuals or organizations on the condition the recipient will literally work alongside the money in order to obtain the product the grant is funding.
In this case, organizations that receive grant money will be administering new home loans to low-income families.
The homebuyers are required to contribute a minimum of 100 hours of “sweat equity” to the construction of their homes. Sweat equity can be in the form of painting, roofing, carpentry, trim work, dry walling or any other duty homebuyers find themselves capable of doing in contribution to the final product of their own home.
Houses funded by the SHOP grants are expected to stay around $15,000 due to the volunteer and sweat equity work that will be put into them.
HUD secretary Shaun Donovan stated in a release that “These grants are about families devoting their own sweat and labor into their American Dream.”
The four organizations selected to receive SHOP funds are Habitat for Humanity International in Georgia, Tierra del Sol Corporation in New Mexico, Community Frameworks in Washington state and the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, D.C.