Peninsula Housing Authority to dedicate six Mutual Self Help homes

PORT ANGELES — Six homes built through the Peninsula Housing Authority’s Mutual Self Help Program will be dedicated at 1 p.m. Friday.

The new homes are in the 1800 block of West 11th Street.

In the Mutual Self Help Program, instead of a down payment, each family works a minimum of 32 hours a week building their own home and that of their neighbors until all are complete.

They do this while maintaining their regular jobs and caring for their families, said Priscilla Leffler, Mutual Self Help coordinator.

Participants were allowed to have friends and extended family help by contributing up to 16 of these 32 hours.

Peninsula Housing Authority has assisted in the construction of over 90 homes, which are built using the old fashioned barn-raising concept, Leffler said. The construction supervisor only provides guidance and instruction on the use of tools and construction techniques, and ensures that the homes are built to code and pass all inspections.

Individuals in the program represent a cross-section of the community: young families with and without children, as well as single parent households, and workers in a variety of professions, she said.

“These families all had one thing in common; they had a dream to own their own home,” Leffler said.

”This dream has been achieved through hard work each and every week.”

The Port Angeles Association of Realtors (PAAR) has provided down payment assistance to those in need, Leffler said, and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) has provided technical grant funding support.

USDA-Rural Development Technical Assistance Grant funds pay for staff, equipment, and administration of the program, and USDA-RD loans are administered through the Local RD office in Port Angeles to homeowners to cover their lot and construction costs. Department of Housing and Urban Development SHOP funds administered by Community Frameworks go toward purchasing and developing land, Leffler said.

The Mutual Self Help Program is accepting applications for the next project. There are current openings for families in the next group located in Forks on Maloney Lane.

Peninsula Housing Authority provides pre-purchase counseling, education, and credit repair counseling for prospective participants.

For more information, contact Leffler at Peninsula Housing Authority, 360-452-7631 Ext. *822 or email

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