About Our Self-Help Program

We are now accepting applications to build in Mesa County.

Homeowner Jessica and her sister showing the progress on her new home!

New Homeowners learning about tools and receiving safety instructions from Self-Help Program Manager, Matt Costigan.

Uniquely designed to help people help themselves, Self-Help Housing is a "sweat equity" program through Housing Resources of Western Colorado (HRWC), that gives income qualified families the means to construct their own homes. Families who participate perform approximately 65% of the construction labor, under qualified supervision, on each others homes. The labor that families contribute substantially reduces the cost of each home while also building equity.

Participants in the program must be willing to contribute a minimum of 30 hours per week for approximately 8 to 12 months. Family and friends can contribute up to 15 hours per week which can count towards the 30 hours needed.

The Self-Help Housing Program is designed to assist families who are unable to buy clean, safe housing through conventional methods. 

Since Housing Resources established the program in 1997, over 350 homes in Mesa County and surrounding areas have been built, providing affordable homeownership and helping to develop strong stable community bonds.


A new finished home!

The benefits that the Self-Help Housing program provides to families and individuals is substantial!

Here is what to expect in a Self-Help home:

  • Immediate equity upon completion of home
  • Financing provided by USDA Rural Development
  • Interest rates as low at 1%*
  • 33 or 38 year loan terms
  • Monthly payment based on what home owners currently earn and family size
  • Low monthly mortgage payment
  • Homes are up to 1,450 square feet, 2 to 4 bedrooms and a one or two car garage
  • Homeowners select from approved HRWC plans
  • Project budget includes basic appliances
  • Project budget includes basic landscaping
  • Project budget includes basic window treatments
  • Homeowners select from approved HRWC interior and exterior finishes for their new home
  • Homeowners select their lot from the neighborhood development site

A proud new homeowner!

A VERY excited new homeowner who has just finished building and closing on her NEW home with USDA Rural Development.

Who can apply? 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Hard working families or individuals who want to build their own home
  • Want opportunities to build equity
  • Must be gainfully employed and have a steady income
  • Have not had a foreclosure in the last 3 years
  • Have not had a bankruptcy in the last 3 years**
  • Do not currently own a home
  • Be able to devote at least 30 hours per week of labor (no experience necessary)
  • Applications are evaluated on an individual basis
  • Meet USDA Rural Development credit and allowable debts

How long is the application process?

  • The application process varies from person to person
  • Typically, the application process takes 3-4 months unless otherwise specified to potential homeowner

Where is Housing Resources currently building in Mesa County?

Butner Estates

3184 F Road - Grand Junction, CO 81504

What are current income requirements?

Persons per Household (Lowest to Highest)

1-Person ($23,600 - $37,700)

2-Person ($26,950 - $43,100)

3-Person ($30,300 - $48,450)

4-Person ($33,650 - $53,850)

5-Person ($36,350 - $58,150)

6-Person ($39,050 - $62,450)

7-Person ($41,750 - $66,750)

8-Person ($44,450 - $71,100)

*Based on qualifying income.  Wages and construction costs are subject to change.
**May be sooner if potential homeowner has begun to re-establish credit.
These examples can vary.


A quick photo before they begin moving into their new home!

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Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals. Learn more about who they are and how we operate by clicking on their logo.