Justin and Mandy were a young family just starting out at the time they found the Self-Help Housing program. Like most young couples, they wanted a home where they could settle down and start building memories. They worked for eight years to get into a home, but hadn’t been able to do so in any other way. Without having enough income to save for a down payment, their options were limited. In their remote area of Kentucky, there wasn’t enough housing stock that was energy efficient and affordable. Then, they found Kentucky Highlands Community Development Corporation which offers the Self-Help Housing program to six southern Kentucky counties, which are among the 100 poorest in the United States, as measured by median income.
“Getting in this program was a big relief and a blessing”, they said. According to Justin, “This is a really good program for families who can’t afford to buy a house or take out a loan to build a new house. It gives people like us a chance to have a home of our own.” Before building their own home in Monticello, Kentucky, the family was living near the Tennessee boarder and had a long commute to get into town. Mandy is happy now that she and the children will feel more a part of the community by living so close. “Now the kids are going to get to participate in school and community activities. Before it was too far and there was no time.”
“It’s a real good program for families that can’t afford to buy a new house or go out and build a new house. It gives people like ourselves a chance to have a home of our own. We didn’t think we’d get to have a home of our own so soon. We want our kids to have something that we didn’t have growing up. To know that when we’re gone, the kids have a place to live for the rest of their lives that’s paid for; it feels real great.”