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Aerial panorama, Dowa Yalanne near Zuni (right), NM, on September 9, 2019.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) has been working with the Zuni Pueblo Housing Authority (ZHA) Zuni Self-Help Housing project. A 2012 RD Self Help Technical Assistance Grant of $279,000 was awarded to ZHA for technical assistance in the construction of 12 homes where the homeowners build their homes (with the exception of those areas that need a license such as electrical and plumbing), and ZHA oversees the construction. ZHA has since received additional funding to continue the project.


The USDA Self Help Program typically helps four to 10 families that work together on each other’s homes until every home in the group is completed. The construction of the homes usually takes six to twelve months to complete. Families contribute significantly through approximately sixty-five percent of the construction labor. This labor contributed by the participants is referred to as “Sweat Equity” and saves an average of $10 to $20-thousand dollars per home. By providing this sweat equity the families are now in a position to buy their own home.


USDA Photo by Lance Cheung (with permission of Zuni Nation)


. Original public domain image from Flickr

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Aerial panorama, Dowa Yalanne near Zuni (right), NM, on September 9, 2019.