The Northwest Regional Housing Authority (NWRHA) gathered at another successful completion of a home for the Mutual Self Help Housing project on Tuesday morning, June 27.

“This is not a charity program,” Vickey Stratton, Mutual Self Help Housing director said. “Everyone that participates in this program are all making house payments. The interest rate right now is 3.25 percent and if someone gets some subsidy help, that is only 1 percent, so that’s not much.”

“This program is for all ages too, from 17 years and up. There is no money down and a great way to have a home. Lots of sweat equity, though,” she said.

There are portions of the construction that is done by the professionals and some tasks are done by the homeowner or volunteers.

The open house was held at the home of Jessica Deterts. Her loan was approved in January and the USDA Rural Development approved all the work the morning of the open house.

Deterts was thrilled to receive the keys at the open house. Her fiancée, Chris Willis and both families also helped with the construction.

The construction supervisor bragged on what a great job she had done laying the flooring.

“I just showed her how, and she did a better job than I’ve seen some contractors do,” Shawn Churchill said.

Stratton said the Housing Authority receives USDA Rural Development grants for two years at a time and they build 26 homes within that time period.

They have recently expanded into 12 counties adding, Washington and Benton. All homes are Energy Star and WaterSense Certified.

Mayor Dan Sherrell said before the event began, “I think this program is great for a young couple starting out. This home is so nice, I wouldn’t mind moving in.”

Travis Flower was representing U.S. Senator Boozman and Teri Garrett represented U.S. Congressman Womack also attended.

“The Senator is a big supporter of this program and it’s great to see the wonderful job the Housing Authority is doing for our communities,” Flower said.

Garrett said, “Congressman Womack wanted to thank all the people who have a part in contributing to the wealth of being a homeowner. You encourage those who have the dream to own a home.”

Deterts said the hardest part was the waiting for it to all be completed. In reality the project went very fast. She also admitted she spent an hour picking out which flowers would go in the front landscaping. “That was so difficult,” she laughed.

Also addressing the group was Johnny James, the area director for Rural Development for the USDA.

“June is Home Ownership Month and we appreciate the relationship our office has with NWRHA,” he said.

Cliff Kollin, construction coordinator bragged on the home’s 100 percent Energy Star and WaterSense Certification. “I am proud that we are one of the only builders in the area building such efficient homes. This type of home is more healthy for the family and more efficient.”

For more information on the Mutual Self Help Housing project contact the NWRHA at (870) 741-5522.

Donna has written for the HDT for more than 19 years. When off the clock, she enjoys writing for children, teaching piano lessons and being a pastor's wife. The Braymers have three married sons and daughter-in-laws and 9 grandchildren.

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