A locally administered federal program that gives income-eligible individuals and families a way to buy affordable new homes has made significant progress since it completed its first house earlier this year.


A locally administered federal program that gives income-eligible individuals and families a way to buy affordable new homes has made significant progress since it completed its first house earlier this year.

 

The program is available to qualified residents in Love, Marshall and Carter counties, excluding those who live in the City of Ardmore. Rachel Bailey, group worker for the Ardmore office of Little Dixie Community Action Agency’s Self-Help Housing Program, said the agency plans to build 24 homes by July 1, 2012.

 

“We’ve had an awesome response from people in this area,” she said. “It seems like there has been a continuous flow of applications from people who are interested.”

 

Applicants must meet income guidelines and have good credit to qualify for the program. Those who qualify get low-interest loans and reasonable mortgage terms to make their monthly payments more affordable. No down payment is required. However, all program participants must agree to do some of the work themselves.

 

This keeps construction costs to a minimum and allows families to work together to get their tasks completed quickly. But families don’t have to do all the work themselves. Professionals are hired to do the most difficult jobs such as foundation, drywall and electrical work. Because program participants invest “sweat equity” in their homes (and those of other families), they have financial equity in their homes the day they move in.

 

“Currently, we have 10 homes under construction,” Bailey said. “Five of the 10 homes are in a new housing addition in the Springer area. A local investor, the J.M. Newman Company, purchased a quarter section of land and is developing it for our size homes.”

 

Bailey said program participants have 11 different house plans to choose from. Participants purchase their own building sites and have a choice of three- and four-bedroom floor plans. All of the brick veneer homes are environmentally friendly.

 

“Several Ardmore area contractors won the bids to assist with the construction and will be working on all 24 of the homes built through the Ardmore office,” Bailey said. “With an average home loan above $100,000 to include the house, land purchase and utility connections, this provides over $2 million flowing into the south central Oklahoma economy, plus it adds beautiful new homes to the communities and enhances the quality of life for our families.”

 

Information and housing applications can be obtained at the Little Dixie Self-Help Housing Program, 25 W. Broadway St., or by calling (580) 226-3030.