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Mutual Self Help

Mutual Self Help

The Mutual Self Help Housing program offers USDA 502 loans to exclusively very low and low income families in order for them to become homeowners. Families who may not be able to get conventional home loans participate in the program and gain sweat equity by building their own homes.


Under the guidance of our construction crew, groups of families come together to build their own homes.  Self-Help families are required to work 30 hours per week and thus gain ‘sweat equity’ to lower the overall loan amount needed to build. 


Families participate in construction by installing flooring, trim, painting, roofing, and finishing work, just to name a few tasks. Our Construction Supervisor will help you through every step of the way in building your dream home. You don’t need any previous construction experience to participate in this program! Qualified contractors will complete the foundation, framing, electric work, plumbing, and heating and cooling (HVAC).


  • USDA 502 loans can have interest rates as low as 1% and these interest rates are fixed throughout your loan term.

  • Loan terms range from 33-38 years.

  • Depending on your annual income, you may qualify for a subsidy.

  • There is no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) tied to these loans.


Am I Eligible?

Qualifications (may be subject to change):

  • Credit score of at least 640 (we can work with you before our next build to raise your credit score)

  • A minimum annual household income of around $32,000 (includes everyone’s income in your household)

  • A maximum annual income of $66,300 for a family of 1-4 and $87,500 for a family of 5-7. 

*For other qualifications, please ask the Program Manager (

Two Home Ownership Programs

  1. Participating in a group to build your new home:  The build process takes roughly 9 months construction time with families being responsible for 30 hours per week of work on the homes for roughly 5-6 months.  Friends and family can volunteer to help you with the hours!  For example, if you and a volunteer work on the home together for eight hours you would be credited for 16 hours, the combined hours for yourself and volunteer!

  2.  Acquisition-Rehab: Similar to the Self-Help program, participants work one-on-one with the Construction Supervisor to ‘rehab’ an existing home. Have you seen ads for that ‘fixer upper’ but don’t think you have the skills to do the work yourself?  Let HASU and the Self-Help Rehab program help you! 

How Do I Apply?

  • Download the Pre-Application Qualification Form below or pick one up at the HASU office located at 321 E. Center St in Moab, Utah. 

  • Our Program Manager can help you with any credit issues and help guide you through the application and qualification process.  

  • Apply to reserve a spot on the waiting list.

  • We will contact you when you reach the top of the waiting list and we start processing applications for the next build, so make sure to let us know if your phone number changes! 




A Note on Processing...

USDA-Rural Development requires HASU to qualify 40% “Very Low” income applicants on each Mutual Self-Help build. As loans are packaged for applicants, the “Very-Low” income applicant quota must be met before moving on to qualify “Low” income applicants. 

The maximum incomes for households to be considered part of the “Low” income bracket are as follows:

  • Household of 1-4: $66,300

  • Household of 5+: $87,500

If your application is deemed to be in the “Low” income bracket, your application will stay in the same spot on the wait list and will be processed for the current build (in the order it was received) after the “Very-Low” income applicant quota has been filled. Thank you for your understanding.

Other Homeownership Opportunities

You could also apply to build a home with Community Rebuilds, which utilizes the same USDA-Rural Development 502 loan that HASU’s Mutual Self-Help program uses. You can get more information about how to apply by contacting  Community Rebuilds. Their contact information is:

Office Location | 150 S 200 E

Moab, UT 84532

(435) 260-0501


You can find their pre-qualification application at:


You can also apply for the USDA-Rural Development 502 Direct Loan through the USDA office in Monticello. This is the same loan HASU’s Mutual Self-Help program uses except that you do not build your own home, you purchase a home that already exists. You can find out more about this loan by calling the USDA office in Monticello at (435) 587-2111.

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