Sowing Seeds of Hope
The center of our daily lives. It's the place for family and friends. It's where we are safe from the worries of the
world. Home is where we relax in comfort. A place to call home is what most of us wish for and work towards,
but for many it is simply a dream.
In rural America, many still wait for the opportunity to make a home for themselves. Mutual self-help housing
has provided that opportunity for more than 25,000 rural low- and very-low-income people. Putting a roof over
the heads of those who need shelter, building financial equity for individuals and families, and creating homes
and communities that are bound together by their common effort is what this program is all about.
In the mutual self-help housing program, a group of 8 to 12 families and individuals work together under
the guidance of a construction supervisor hired be a nonprofit housing developer (self-help grantee).
These groups perform at least
65 percent of the construction
work. By working together for 8
to 10 months, they complete all
of their homes simultaneously;
no one moves in until all the
homes within the group are
Our progress to date:
• Worked with over 205 interested families toward qualifying for a loan
• Developed a system of processing applications and educating people
on debt and credit issues
• Qualified 10 families, with 6 currently qualified for our first group in Marion
• Educated ourselves on many aspects of affordable housing (specifically in the black belt)
• Researched and sought out materials that are energy-efficient, low-maintenance,
and affordable or donated
• Worked with 6 different families on six different house plans
• Successfully wrote a $10,000 Pre-Development Grant from Rural Development
• Successfully wrote a $10,000 Green Building Grant from the Housing Assistance Council
• Secured financial support from the community : Marion Bank & Trust ($800/family for
closing costs) and the Marion City Council (waived building permit fees of $240/ family)
• Secured affordable materials: discount from JF Day & Co.'s Pella Windows and Doors,
reduced-cost lumber from local sawmills, reduced-cost labor from a local drywaller.
SSOH Announces 2nd
Self-Help Housing Award
Sowing Seeds of Hope receives another United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grant to assist families
with building 10 NEW HOMES in Perry County,
over the next 2 years. Supporting donations were also
received from Marion Bank & Trust and West Alabama
Bank in Marion.
To Apply: Please contact Karen or Anne 334-683-4666.