About OLD

How do I know if my income qualifies?

Compare your family income to the Whatcom/Skagit Income Limits. Click here to open the grid.

Who are you and what type of affordable housing does Whatcom – Skagit Housing provide?

Whatcom-Skagit Housing is 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. Self Help Homes services are free to our clients and include:

  • Formation of building groups of 7-10 families who will be working 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, one and two story house plans.
  • Assistance in selection of subcontractors.
  • Building account management and construction budgeting.
  • Instructions are given during every phase of the construction process.

What kind of features will my new affordable self help home have?

  • Double wall construction
  • Insulated walls, floors, windows and doors.
  • Natural gas centralized forced air heating system.
  • Basic appliances and washer/dryer hookups.
  • Hardi-Plank lap siding.
  • Paved sidewalk and driveway.
  • Attached double car garage
  • Basic landscaping

How much do I have to pay out of my pocket?

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

When the house is done, will my payments be too high for me 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.

Okay, 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 is 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 360.398.0223 or 888.360.0223.

What do I have to do to qualify for affordable housing?

  • Complete a pre-application.
  • Have an acceptable credit history.
  • Meet the lenders income and debt ratios as well as asset limitations.
  • Be able to dedicate 35 hours per week for 9-12 months to building with your group.
  • Commit to share work with the other families in your group.
  • Be available for weekly onsite meetings (usually Saturday mornings).

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or call 866-632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at US Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.