Now with 135 new homes built in Great Falls, the Owner Built Homes Program has shown great success for homeowners, neighborhoods, and this community since it starts in 2005. Originally called the “Mutual Self-Help Program,” Neighborhood Housing Services brought this program to Cascade County decades ago in hopes to help those in our own neighborhoods into homeownership in a unique way.
Since 1971, the Mutual Self-Help Program has been helping people into homeownership across the nation, and we are proud to bring it to this community. Brenda Kukay, Owner Built Homes Coordinator with NeighborWorks Great Falls, loves helping families and finding homeownership solutions.
“Since the Mutual Self Help program came to Great Falls in 2005, I have had the pleasure of helping so many individuals and families become homeowners. To watch them beam with self-confidence and pride while building their own homes is priceless! They work so hard for a year building their home along with 9 other homes. I love watching the friendships they make with each other and the community they build. To have their own home to raise their families in or to have their own home to retire in is something that they obtain through the Self-Help Program. I love helping families making that dream of theirs come true! I am so proud of all of my families.”
For twelve to fourteen months, families come together to build their own as well as each other’s homes. By working together, all the homes are completed simultaneously, and no one moves in until all ten homes are complete. Oftentimes, incredible bonds will form between families who then become neighbors that have shared this exciting yet challenging accomplishment together.
The Owner Built Homes Program makes homeownership possible through sweat equity, with future homeowners and volunteers working each week to construct the homes together alongside two NeighborWorks supervisors on site. There are currently ten homes being built at Meriwether Crossing, our latest development area located on the south end of Great Falls. Additionally, another group will start construction this summer. Learn more about the Owner Built Homes Program on our website!