Homes for Islanders purchases 16 San Juan Island lots

Submitted by Homes for Islanders

Homes for Islanders has purchased 16 lots in Foxhall to secure them for self-help homebuilding by 16 very low- to low-income individuals and families on San Juan Island. The constructed homes will range between 1,800 and 2,000 square feet and each house will be unique to Foxhall, meeting the homeowner association’s covenants, conditions and restrictions. Applicants who qualify for the loans will own the land without any resale restriction.

Homes for Islanders is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that runs a program called “Mutual Self-Help” funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (through the rural development department) to assist limited-income families interested in building their own homes. Homes for Islanders is currently planning to begin construction of the first eight homes in May 2018. Apply now. There are new, two-tier income limits that range up to $71,700, so islanders should not assume they will not qualify without at least contacting staff and talking through situations.

Homes for Islanders services include:

• Formation of building groups of “construction” workers, assistance in applying for a 502 Rural Housing Mortgage from Rural Development, provision of fully serviced, builder-ready lots and house plans.

• Building account management and construction budgeting.

• Instructions and training during every phase of the construction process.

This program is for people who cannot afford a down payment typically required to purchase a home and large monthly mortgage payments. Upon successful completion of the program, monthly loan payments will be based upon the applicant’s income level and are often less than their current monthly rent. Those who qualify and are accepted into the program will pay no money down, no out-of-pocket closing costs and make no mortgage payments during construction. The only costs for qualified applicants will be to pay for their credit report.

The program is called “Mutual Self-Help Construction” because the majority of labor to build each home is provided by the homeowner. The applicant’s effort becomes an investment in the building process. Although much of the technical work is subcontracted (i.e. plumbing, electrical and drywall), the applicant saves thousands of dollars by working on the construction of the homes in their building group. Self-help builders are ordinary people with an extraordinary desire for home ownership. This approach substantially reduces the costs of construction and essentially provides the down payment and builds sweat equity for the homeowner.

Request a pre-application at 360-370-5944, or by visiting the office at 640 Mullis Street, Suite 102b. (The website is currently down.)