USDA Rural Development Homebuying
Qualification and Process
Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Section 523 Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, very low to low-income borrowers work together under Homes In Partnership, Inc. guidance to build each others’ homes. With a construction supervisor on-site, groups perform the construction work required (known as “sweat equity”) to build the homes.
Applicants are required to meet several qualifications to ensure success. Each prospective homeowner must:
- Must be a US citizen or legal resident
- Overall credit history should demonstrate ability and willingness to repay obligations
- Must have a 2 years work history and have filed 2 years of tax returns if employed
- Conform to the minimum and maximum Income Guidelines depending on family size and location. Click here to check the income limits for your area: https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/RD-DirectLimitMap.pdf
- Willing to participate in certain aspects of the construction of your home and others
- Attend homebuyer’s workshops and meetings
- USDA requires homes to be in rural areas. Click here for property eligibility information: https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do Click on Single-Family Housing Direct then Property Eligibility then type the address you wish to purchase.
- The home you will purchase must be your primary residence not owning another home
- USDA SELF-ASSESSMENT WEBSITE: Final determination of eligibility must be made by USDA Rural Development https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do?pageAction=assessmentType