Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
February 20, 2020

Media Contact:
Kristina Tirloni (512) 475-4743

  • Texas Bootstrap Loan Program celebrates 20th anniversary
  • Nearly 1,900 homes built since inception
  • Program is near self-supporting through loan pay-back


Texas Bootstrap Loan Program celebrates 20 years

Existing loan repayments nearly support program’s annual funding

(AUSTIN) — Today, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), Sen. Eddie Lucio, Rio Grande Habitat for Humanity, and local officials and residents recognized the 20th Anniversary of the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program (Bootstrap), one of the state’s most successful, cost-effective programs helping very low-income residents achieve homeownership through “sweat equity.” The Bootstrap Program’s loans can be used to acquire or build a home, or reconstruct or rehabilitate an existing home.

“Neighbors lending a hand to help neighbors; community residents and businesses lending time, materials and skills to help a family. The Bootstrap Program is about so much more than just a loan,” said Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA Executive Director. “We’re honored to celebrate our amazing Bootstrap administrators and dedicated, hard-working Texas families who prove that having a home—a safe, livable home—can be a reality.”

Bootstrap’s funding is provided through the state’s Housing Trust Fund and appropriated biennially by the Texas Legislature. Today, a majority of the loan repayments made by prior Bootstrap loan recipients help fund loans for future Bootstrap loans, thus providing a self-sustaining funding source for the program and an overall savings to the state. To date, Bootstrap has provided more than $61 million in home loans to eligible households, and accounted for 1,854 rehabilitated or reconstructed homes throughout Texas.

Bootstrap loans provided to low-income families, or those making up to 60 percent of the area median family income, cannot exceed $45,000 per house, and can be combined with other funding sources such as those from private lending institutions, local governments, nonprofits, or any other sources. However, all combined loans cannot exceed $150,000 per house.

The program requires the borrower provide at least 65 percent of the labor necessary to build or rehabilitate the proposed housing or provide an amount of labor equivalent to the required amount by working through a state-certified owner-builder housing program.

Currently, 30 program administrators provide the tools and training to members of households. Program administrators include Habitat for Humanity chapters and community nonprofits. The list of Nonprofit Owner-Builder Housing Providers can be found here.

The Department must set aside at least two-thirds of the annual available funds for owner-builders whose property is located in Economically Distressed Area Program (EDAP) counties, as defined under Subchapter K, Chapter 17, Water Code. The remainder of the funding is available to the state’s six Colonia Self-Help Centers, funded by TDHCA, and TDHCA certified nonprofit Owner-Builder Housing Programs in the State of Texas.


About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is committed to expanding fair housing choice and opportunities for Texans through the administration and funding of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services with the help of for-profits, nonprofits, and local governments. For more information about fair housing, funding opportunities, or services in your area, please visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us or the Learn about Fair Housing in Texas page. 

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