Two area families have broken ground for the construction of their new homes and are getting another step closer to their dream of home ownership thanks to the Little Dixie Self-Help Housing program.

Linda Martin, of the Little Dixie Community Action Agency, says Emily McElhaney, accompanied by her boyfriend and family, broke ground on her custom-built, three bedroom house this month. The house will be built on her family’s land in Lone Grove.

A second family, Gerrad and Jennifer Waid, moved dirt to get started on the construction of their three-bedroom, two-bath home in Love County. The couple, along with their two children, will move into the home once it is complete.

Both homes are 2,098 square-fee and are designed by the new home owners through the Little Dixie Self Help Housing program.

The Little Dixie Self-Help Housing program works with low income families to build and finance a home. Those that qualify for the program agree to participate in the construction of their new custom-built home, which is financed through the USDA Rural Development. Through the USDA, financing is available with lower interest rates for lower-income households. Once approved by the USDA, the future homeowner invests 700 hours of “sweat-equity” into the construction of their home. During the four-to-six month period of construction, the future homeowner will paint, stain, caulk, insulate, hang doors, complete trim work and clean up after the contractor.

The Waid family and McElhaney were approved to participate in the program February after submitting their application a month earlier.

Both received grants from the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency and the Federal Home Loan Bank.

The Little Dixie Community Action Agency offers many programs to help southern Oklahomans. The non-profit organization provides housing counseling, home buyer education and credit counseling, in addition to the self-help housing program.

To ask questions about the Little Dixie Community Action Agency, call the Ardmore office at (580) 226-3030.