Rural Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance

To provide Self-Help Technical Assistance Grants to provide financial assistance to qualified nonprofit organizations and public bodies that will aid needy very low and low-income individuals and their families to build homes in rural areas by the self help method.

Any State, political subdivision,

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private or public nonprofit corporation is eligible to apply.

Section 523 Grants are used to pay salaries, rent, and office expenses of the nonprofit organization.

Pre-development grants up to $10,000 may be available to qualified organizations.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Consult your local telephone directory under Department of Agriculture for Rural Development county or district office numbers or visit the website for a State Office listing.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Helena Area Habitat For Humanity $ 637,360   2023-07-262024-09-26
Campesinos Sin Fronteras $ 535,095   2023-06-252024-08-25
Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.,of Great Falls $ 793,419   2023-06-122024-08-12
Universal Housing Development Corporation $ 702,000   2023-05-252024-06-25
Grand, County Of $ 0   2023-05-102024-06-25
Deep Fork Community Action Foundation, Inc.-$ 230,000   2023-05-152024-06-15
Yamhill Community Development Corporation $ 872,449   2023-05-122024-06-12
Threshold Housing Development, Inc $ 470,000   2023-04-052024-06-05
Self-help Enterprises $ 230,000   2023-03-192024-05-19
Christian Housing Development Organization Inc-$ 10,406   2023-08-142024-05-14

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Eligible organizations may use technical assistance funds to hire the personnel to carry out a technical assistance program for self-help housing in rural areas; to pay necessary and reasonable office and administrative expenses; to purchase or rent equipment such as power tools for use by families participating in self-help housing construction; and to pay fees for training self-help group members in construction techniques or for other professional services needed.

Funds will not be used to hire personnel to perform any construction work, to buy real estate or building materials, or pay any debts, expenses or costs other than previously outlined for participating families in self-help projects.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Must be a State or political subdivision, public nonprofit corporation or a private nonprofit corporation.

Assistance is authorized for eligible applicants in the United States, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Very low and low-income rural families, usually in groups of 6 to 10 families.


Applicants must furnish evidence of the need for such services, have legal capacity to incur the obligation and operate the proposed project, and be unable to obtain the necessary funds from other sources. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Form SF-424 is submitted to the Field office of the Rural Development (RD) , including information attached to Part IV, fully documenting the applicant's experience, need for the grant and the proposed amount needed. Attachments relating to the size of the proposed project, estimated cost, budget and need are also required. This program is subject to provisions of 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

Award Procedures

Award is made by the National office.


Not Applicable.


Housing Act of 1949, as amended, Section 523, Public Laws 89-117 and 89-754, 42 U.S.C. 1490c.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 190 days from the time discussion begins.


Agency regulations providing customers with the rights for an informal review, mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR), or appeal to the National Appeals Division (NAD) are contained in 7 CFR Part 3550. NAD regulations are found at 7 CFR Part 11. Requests for an informal review, mediation and ADR must be received within 30 days from the date of the adverse decision. Requests for an appeal to NAD must be received within 30 days of receipt of the adverse decision.


Applicants may reapply at any time, if needed to help low- income families build homes in rural areas by the mutual self-help method is clearly evidenced.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are typically for a 2-year period, however, other time periods may be authorized if appropriate. Applications for assistance far exceed available funding. There is generally a waiting list for funding. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Award is made by the National Office.

Post Assistance Requirements


No program reports are required.

No cash reports are required.

Quarterly progress reports are to be made to the RD-Housing Programs District Office.

No expenditure reports are required.

No performance monitoring is required.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Annual audits should be made as part of the recipient's systems of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of grants and other agreements.


Adequate operating records must be maintained by Grantee.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants) FY 16 $22,148,496; FY 17 est $26,000,000; and FY 18 est $0 - Fiscal Year 2018 estimates are based on the President's proposed budget.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

FY 2016 average grant assistance $615,236. FY 2017 average grant assistance $702,000. FY 2017 average amount is estimated.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Subpart I of Part 1944; Chapter XVIII; RD Instruction 1944-I, 'Self-Help Technical Assistance Grants'; (PA 1254) (no charge).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Consult your local telephone directory under Department of Agriculture for Rural Development county or district office numbers or visit the website for a State Office listing.

Headquarters Office

Myron L. Wooden 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Email: Phone: (804) 287-1559

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The criteria for selecting proposals are the evidence of a clearly defined need in an area for mutual self-help housing and the families in the area cannot afford or obtain a modest house by customary methods, and the applicant possesses the expertise to provide the technical assistance (TA) required.

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