Mutual Self-Help Housing
PLEASE NOTE: Helena Habitat is no longer accepting applications for our 2019 build cycle. Please check back in Summer of 2019 for details about applying for our 2020 build cycle.
Helena Area Habitat for Humanity is partnering with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) to offer the Mutual Self-Help Housing program to the Helena Area
Mutual Self-Help is a housing program of Helena Area Habitat for Humanity. Under the guidance of Habitat construction staff, participants build their own homes with the assistance of their relatives, friends, and other Mutual Self-Help families. Our Self-Help program is for low to moderate income families and individuals who are determined to own their own homes. Habitat staff assists families and individuals through the entire process, starting by helping them access financing, then providing construction training and guidance in the construction of the homes.
Benefits of Mutual Self-Help
No down payment necessary
Mortgage payments set at no more than 29% of the family or individuals’ income
Acquire knowledge and skills in home maintenance and construction.
Earn instant equity in your home by providing sweat equity in building your home and the homes of your neighbors.
Develop lasting relationships by partnering with other families and individuals to build your home.
We use the following guidelines to evaluate each application but additional factors may influence your eligibility. Please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.
Where we Build…
The first group of five homes are to be built in the Craftsman Village neighborhood of Mountain View Meadows off of Highway 12 between Helena and East Helena on the hillside above the new Blue Cross Blue Shield headquarters. Read more about the vision for Mountain View Meadows and the Mountain View City Park here. The Craftsman Village neighborhood at Mountain View Meadows is made up of modestly-sized, quality-built homes in a walkable community with beautiful shared open space.
- Skills: No construction or carpentry skills are needed. We will teach you everything you need to know. The families and individuals will be guided through the construction process by Habitat’s competent construction staff.
- Income: Must be less than 80% of the HUD Median Income in Lewis and Clark county (see income qualifications below). Because many factors determine adjusted annual income, you may be eligible even if your income exceeds the maximum allowable income. Applicants must exhibit steady and verifiable income for at least one year.
- Credit History: Credit is reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Residency: U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is required.
- Time Commitment: All participating families and individuals contribute 65% of the labor on all the homes in each group. This equals at least 30 hours per week from the family or individual, their friends, and their volunteers, for the duration of construction. The head of household must complete 15 of the 30 hours, and the remaining 15 hours can be contributed by friends, family, and volunteers (16 years of age or older). Hours are usually completed on Saturdays and a weekday evening and construction typically takes 8-11 months. This commitment is very important as all of the homes must be finished and pass inspection before any participating families or individuals are allowed to move in.
How to Apply…
Step 1: Complete the pre-qualification form.
Step 2: Return the form with proof of your last month of income and your last two years of tax returns.
These items can be mailed to Helena Habitat at P.O. Box 459, Helena MT 59624 or dropped off at our office at 432 N. Last Chance Gulch, Ste. R Helena, MT 59601.
Step 3: If you meet the basic requirements of the program, our Program Coordinator will contact you to set-up a pre-application meeting with you.
If you have any further questions regarding our homeownership program or application process please contact Program Coordinator, Sophia Webb, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (406) 204-7314.