Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Texas Bootstrap Loan Program

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The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (Department) administers the Owner-Builder Loan Program, commonly known as the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program (Bootstrap).

The Bootstrap Program is a self-help housing construction program that assists low-income households (Owner-Builders) to purchase or refinance real property on which to build or repair housing by contributing the labor themselves. The maximum Bootstrap loan is $45,000 per household and 0% interest for a term of up to 30 years. Owner-Builders leverage their Bootstrap loan with additional loan funds from other sources.

An eligible Owner-Builder household income may not exceed the greater of 80% of Area Median Family Income or 80% of the State Median Income.

All Owner-Builders are required to provide at least 65% of the labor necessary to build or rehabilitate their housing by working with a state-certified Administrator or a Colonia Self-Help Center. Owner-Builders may contribute the labor personally, they may build or rehabilitate housing for others, and/or they may receive noncontract labor assistance from others. All construction activity in the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program must be under the supervision of a certified Administrator (XLSX). Nonprofit organizations wishing to become a certified Administrator must complete this Application (PDF).

Funding Set-Asides for Certain Census Tracts

Each year, the Department is required under Section 2306.753(d) of the Texas Government Code to set aside at least two-thirds of Bootstrap funds for Owner-Builders whose property is in a census tract that has a median household income not greater than 75% of the median state household income for the most recent year statistics are available:

Census Tracts Eligible under the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program 2/3 Set-Aside effective 9/17/2021 (XLSX)

To look up the census tract number for an address, visit the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) Geocoding/Mapping System.

Household Eligibility

Eligible Owner-Builders must meet the following minimum requirements in order to apply to the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program:

  • Working with a certified Administrator (XLSX) to provide at least 65% of the labor necessary to build or rehabilitate the proposed housing
  • Has an annual household income no greater than 80% of the state or local median family income.
  • Has a Total Debt-to-Income ratio no greater than 45% and has a credit history that indicates reasonable ability and willingness to meet debt obligations
  • Has resided in Texas at least six months prior to the date of application
  • Successfully completes an Owner-Builder Education Class



For additional information, please contact Luis Diaz at luis.diaz@tdhca.state.tx.us.