Homes for Islanders

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is Homes for Islanders?

We are a private, non-profit corporation funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (through Rural Development) to assist limited income families interested in building their own homes. Our services are free to our clients and include:

  • Formation of building groups of 8 families who will be working together on the construction of each other’s homes
  • Assistance in applying for a 502 Rural Housing Loan from Rural Development
  • Provision of fully serviced, builder-ready lots
  • 3 and 4-bedroom, 1-story house plans
  • Assistance in selection of subcontractors
  • Building account management and construction budgeting
  • Instructions during every phase of the construction process

What features will my new home have?

  • Insulated walls, floors, windows, and doors
  • Stick frame construction
  • Basic appliances and washer/dryer hookups

How much do I have to pay out of pocket?

Those who qualify and are accepted into the program will pay no money down, no out of pocket closing costs, and no mortgage payments during construction. You may be asked to pay for your credit report and your first year homeowner’s insurance premium.

When my home is completed, will my payments be too high to make?

Upon successful completion of the program, monthly loan payments will be based upon your current income level and are often less than you now pay for rent.

OK, what’s the catch?

The catch is simply the time and effort that you must invest in the building process. Although much of the technical work may be subcontracted out (i.e., plumbing, electrical, drywall, and roofing), you save thousands of dollars by working on the construction of the homes in your building group. Self-help builders are ordinary people with an extraordinary desire for home ownership. If you are interested in building your own home, please call us for more information at 360-370-5944.

How can I qualify?

  • Complete a pre-application.
  • Be sure your credit score meets our requirement. If you have a bankruptcy, it must be discharged for 3 years.
  • Collections owing must be paid.
  • Meet Rural Development’s income/debt ratio.
  • Meet the requirement for maximum allowed assets (please contact us for details).
  • Be able to dedicate 35 hours per week (50% may be volunteer hours) for approximately 12 months.
  • Commit to sharing work with other families in your group.

(see additional requirements on the Eligibility page).


Aerial View of Heritage Place