Alaska Celebrates National Homeownership Month and 50 years of Self-Help Housing

Larry Yerich, Public Information Coordinator
Release Date
Jun 15, 2015

USDA-Rural Development Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund announced that his agency joined the Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. (RurAL CAP) to mark the 50th anniversary of the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program.  The event included recognizing National Homeownership Month and highlighting Rural Development’s ongoing role in helping residents of rural Alaska purchase homes. 
The Mutual Self-Help Housing Program provides grants to help organizations carry out housing construction projects in rural areas. These organizations supervise groups of very-low and low-income individuals and families as they construct their own homes. The group members provide most of the construction labor on each other’s homes and get technical assistance from the organization overseeing the project.

By working with trusted local organizations, this program helps people get affordable, clean and safe homes of their own.  Homeownership provides a strong foundation to help build household wealth.

"Owning a home is one of the best ways American families may enter the middle class," Nordlund said. "USDA has helped provide homeownership for rural Alaskans for more than 60 years.  "Homeownership is the American dream, and these owner/builders are doing it the American Way – through hard work and sweat equity."

"On June 12, 2015, RurAL CAP celebrated National Homeownership Month in Soldotna by commemorating 50 years of Self-Help Housing successes; 50,000 Self-Help Homes built nationally; 50 Years of RurAL CAP, and our 50th  home now under construction on the Kenai Peninsula!  It was our “Nifty Fifty” Celebration," said David Hardenbergh, Executive Director, RurAL CAP.

To learn more about USDA-RD’s Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, please contact Amy Milburn at: (907) 283-6640, Ext. 101, or:; or Greg Stuckey at: (907) 761-7778, or:

Since 2009, USDA-Rural Development has invested over $1.5 billion in more than 220 rural Alaskan communities.  These investments in housing, community facilities, business, energy, water and sewer, telecom and electric have helped to grow rural Alaska’s economy and enhance the quality of life for its residents.