42 USC 1490c - Mutual and self-help housing

(a) Purpose 
The purposes of this section are
(1)  to make financial assistance available on reasonable terms and conditions in rural areas and small towns to needy low-income individuals and their families who, with the benefit of technical assistance and overall guidance and supervision, participate in approved programs of mutual or self-help housing by acquiring and developing necessary land, acquiring building materials, providing their own labor, and working cooperatively with others for the provision of decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings for themselves, their families, and others in the area or town involved, and
(2)  to facilitate the efforts of both public and private nonprofit organizations providing assistance to such individuals to contribute their technical and supervisory skills toward more effective and comprehensive programs of mutual or self-help housing in rural areas and small towns wherever necessary.
(b) Contract authority; establishment of Self-Help Housing Land Development Fund; authorization to make loans; conditions of loan 
In order to carry out the purposes of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture (in this section referred to as the Secretary) is authorized

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(1) 
(A) to make grants to, or contract with, public or private nonprofit corporations, agencies, institutions, organizations, Indian tribes, and other associations approved by him, to pay part or all of the costs of developing, conducting, administering, or coordinating effective and comprehensive programs of technical and supervisory assistance which will aid needy low-income individuals and their families in carrying out mutual or self-help housing efforts, including the repair of units financed under section 1472 of this title that are being held in inventory; and
(B) to establish the Self-Help Housing Land Development Fund, referred to herein as the Self-Help Fund, to be used by the Secretary as a revolving fund for making loans, on such terms and conditions and in such amounts as he deems necessary, to public or private nonprofit organizations and to Indian tribes for the acquisition and development of land as building sites to be subdivided and sold to families, nonprofit organizations, and cooperatives eligible for assistance under section 1715z or 1715z–1 of title 12 or section 1490a of this title. Such a loan, with interest at a rate not to exceed 3 percent per annum, shall be repaid within a period not to exceed two years from the making of the loan, or within such additional period as may be authorized by the Secretary in any case as being necessary to carry out the purposes hereof: Provided, That the Secretary may advance funds under this paragraph to organizations receiving assistance under clause (A) to enable them to establish revolving accounts for the purchase of land options and any such advances may bear interest at a rate determined by the Secretary and shall be repaid to the Secretary at the expiration of the period for which the grant to the organization involved was made;
(2) to make grants to, or contract with, national or regional private nonprofit corporations to provide training and technical assistance to public or private nonprofit corporations, agencies, institutions, organizations, and other associations, including Indian tribes, eligible to receive assistance under this section in order to expand the use of authorities contained in this section and to improve performance; and
(3) to make loans, on such terms and conditions and in such amounts as he deems necessary, to needy low-income individuals participating in programs of mutual or self-help housing approved by him, for the acquisition and development of land and for the purchase of such other building materials as may be necessary in order to enable them, by providing substantially all of their own labor, and by cooperating with others participating in such programs, to carry out to completion the construction of decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings for such individuals and their families, subject to the following limitations:
(A) there is reasonable assurance of repayment of the loan;
(B) the amount of the loan, together with other funds which may be available, is adequate to achieve the purpose for which the loan is made;
(C) the credit assistance is not otherwise available on like terms or conditions from private sources or through other Federal, State, or local programs;
(D) the loan bears interest at a rate not to exceed 3 per centum per annum on the unpaid balance of principal, plus such additional charge, if any, toward covering other costs of the loan program as the Secretary may determine to be consistent with its purposes; and
(E) the loan is repayable within not more than thirty-three years.

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(c) Considerations for financial assistance 
In determining whether to extend financial assistance under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary shall take into consideration, among other factors, the suitability of the area within which construction will be carried out to the type of dwelling which can be provided under mutual or self-help housing programs, the extent to which the assistance will facilitate the provision of more decent, safe, and sanitary housing conditions than presently exist in the area, the extent to which the assistance will be utilized efficiently and expeditiously, the extent to which the assistance will effect an increase in the standard of living of low-income individuals participating in the mutual or self-help housing program, and whether the assistance will fulfill a need in the area which is not otherwise being met through other programs, including those carried out by other Federal, State, or local agencies.
(d) “Construction” defined 
As used in this section, the term construction includes the erection of new dwellings, and the rehabilitation, alteration, conversion, or improvement of existing structures.
(e) Establishment of appropriate criteria and procedures for determining eligibility of applicants 
The Secretary is authorized to establish appropriate criteria and procedures in order to determine the eligibility of applicants for the financial assistance provided under this section, including criteria and procedures with respect to the periodic review of any construction carried out with such financial assistance.
(f) Repealed. Pub. L. 102–550, title VII, § 710(2), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 3840 
(g) Deposit in Self-Help Fund; availability of amounts; assets 
Amounts appropriated under this subsection, together with principal collections from loans made under appropriations in any previous fiscal years, shall be deposited in the Self-Help Housing Land Development Fund, which shall be available, to the extent approved in appropriation Acts, as a revolving fund for making loans under subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section; except that not more than $5,000,000 may be made available during fiscal year 1985. Instruments and property acquired by the Secretary in or as a result of making such loans shall be assets of the Self-Help Housing Land Development Fund.
(h) Rules and regulations 
The Secretary shall issue rules and regulations for the orderly processing and review of applications under this section and rules and regulations protecting the rights of grantees under this section in the event he determines to end grant assistance prior to the termination date of any grant agreement.