The purposes of this section are (1) to make financial assistance available on reasonable terms and conditions in rural areas and small towns to needy low-income individuals and their families who, with the benefit of technical assistance and overall guidance and supervision, participate in approved programs of mutual or self-help housing by acquiring and developing necessary land, acquiring building materials, providing their own labor, and working cooperatively with others for the provision of decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings for themselves, their families, and others in the area or town involved, and (2) to facilitate the efforts of both public and private nonprofit organizations providing assistance to such individuals to contribute their technical and supervisory skills toward more effective and comprehensive programs of mutual or self-help housing in rural areas and small towns wherever necessary.
In determining whether to extend financial assistance under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b), the Secretary shall take into consideration, among other factors, the suitability of the area within which construction will be carried out to the type of dwelling which can be provided under mutual or self-help housing programs, the extent to which the assistance will facilitate the provision of more decent, safe, and sanitary housing conditions than presently exist in the area, the extent to which the assistance will be utilized efficiently and expeditiously, the extent to which the assistance will effect an increase in the standard of living of low-income individuals participating in the mutual or self-help housing program, and whether the assistance will fulfill a need in the area which is not otherwise being met through other programs, including those carried out by other Federal, State, or local agencies.
As used in this section, the term “construction” includes the erection of new dwellings, and the rehabilitation, alteration, conversion, or improvement of existing structures.
The Secretary is authorized to establish appropriate criteria and procedures in order to determine the eligibility of applicants for the financial assistance provided under this section, including criteria and procedures with respect to the periodic review of any construction carried out with such financial assistance.
Amounts appropriated under this subsection, together with principal collections from loans made under appropriations in any previous fiscal years, shall be deposited in the Self-Help Housing Land Development Fund, which shall be available, to the extent approved in appropriation Acts, as a revolving fund for making loans under subsection (b)(1)(B); except that not more than $5,000,000 may be made available during fiscal year 1985. Instruments and property acquired by the Secretary in or as a result of making such loans shall be assets of the Self-Help Housing Land Development Fund.
The Secretary shall issue rules and regulations for the orderly processing and review of applications under this section and rules and regulations protecting the rights of grantees under this section in the event he determines to end grant assistance prior to the termination date of any grant agreement.