USDA Self-Help Housing Program

We are busy building the 2017/2018 homes now in Reedsburg.  But if you’re interested in joining a 2018 Build Team, please contact us now.

Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin River Area, Inc (HFHWRA) used to offer only one home ownership program, and that was the “traditional” Habitat program.  But in 2013, HFHWRA began offering a 2nd home ownership program.  We now serve as “administrators” for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) “Self-Help Housing” program. This program has been around since the 1970’s, and over 50,000 homes have been built.  Thus far, we’ve worked with 15 areas families to get them into these well-designed, lovely, energy efficient homes, and we are currently building a batch of 5 more homes in Reedsburg that should be completed by late spring of 2018.
By offering the USDA’s Self-Help Housing program, HFHWRA is able to help an additional 5 families each year realize the dream of becoming homeowners!

The USDA “Self-Help” housing program features:9-12-2015-Montgomery-Wade-homes-530x353

  • No down payment
  • No payments until construction is complete (except for your insurance premiums)
  • Low, fixed interest rates
  • Affordable payments
  • Energy-efficient homes
  • More home for your money
    • Many choices available for the homeowner to make  like house design;  the color of siding, shingles,  and counter tops; cabinet style; and more.                                                                                                                It takes about 11 months for a “Build Team” to complete 5 homes.  This is what you’ll have to “give” to be part of this program:  You will have to spend your spare time each week at the build site for that year doing light construction work like hammering, framing, sheet rocking, painting, and landscaping – but  our trained construction staff is there  to teach you and to supervise each step of the way.   Licensed trade work like concrete,  electrical, plumbing, and HVAC are all done by professionals.                                                                                                                                                                            The “sweat equity” you put in is the reason you do not have to make any  downpayment  –  plus, your “sweat equity” keeps the cost of your house low, and also earns you a lot of  equity in the home.  The homes we’ve built thus far through the USDA Self-Help housing program right here in Sauk County  have given participants  $30,000+  in “equity” the day they moved in!   “Equity” means the difference between what you had to borrow to get the house, and what it appraises for.  After you move in,  the house is yours to live in, or even to sell.   Ask yourself this:  What part-time job gets you that sort of return for 1 year of work?    We tell participants to think of it as the ultimate “Do It Yourself” project!                                                     Over 50,000 hardworking Americans have become homeowners through this program.  It is NOT charity – it is a great government program for people who want to better their lives.                                                                                                             Does this sound like something you have the ambition to tackle?  Then come talk with us!  We know this program works because 15 families have used it in Sauk County.  And thus far for our participants, their monthly payments for PITI  (principle, interest, taxes, and insurance) have ranged from about $650 – $900  –  for big, nice homes with attached garages! You can’t rent for that in this area!

      Click here  for more information.    brochure-

So this is the message we send you about the USDA “Self-Help” housing program: If you are willing to work hard for about 12 months, you can own a very nice home at a very nice price. This is not charity; it is hard work, but it will get you ahead in life.

Watch this YouTube video about our first 10 homes completed from 2013-2015 in Baraboo and Reedsburg.

Click here   (sorry – house plans are currently being revised for 2018)    to see the variety of floor plans available to you if you qualify!  All the new home designs are very energy efficient, and  have a minimum of 3 bedrooms/ 2 baths, with an attached garage!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       You won’t know if you qualify until you fill out a  Pre-Qualification form!    To download and fill out the quick and easy non-binding Pre-qualification form, click here:    PreQualification form – 2017     You can bring the Pre-Qualification to the office  (at 1211 8th St,  Baraboo) during business hours,  or mail it to us at:  HFHWRA  PO Box 38  Baraboo, WI  53913.    It is best to call to set up an appointment.   (And please note:  you must sign the Authorization to Release that is part of the Pre-Qualification form, because this gives the USDA permission to run your credit as a first step in determining your eligibility for a loan through them.)

Contact  our Self-Help Housing manager Steve Paske  by calling or texting him at   608-370-4931, or emailing him at:   You can also call the office at 608-448-2888.