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

A Dream Becomes a Reality

Story by Charles Coates, Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity

Caption below

Mother Norma Rodriguez and daughter Lupita proudly stand in front of their new home they help build with Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity. Many nonprofits and government agencies, including TDHCA, were able to come together and help Norma and Lupita, as well as her husband and son, achieve the dream of homeownership.
Photo: Courtesy of BCS Habitat

*Note – The TDHCA owner-builder loan program featured in the story below is known as the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program and is administered in the area by Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity.

What happens when a nonprofit and local, state and federal governments come together for a single purpose? A dream becomes a reality. For two new homeowner families, that dream was to build and own their very own home, something that for many years remained out of reach for them.

For two Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity families, Luis and Norma Rodriguez and Edward Washington with his son, Edward Jr., March 2018 was the month they officially became homeowners. Thanks to the generosity of local donors and volunteers as well as down-payment assistance programs like the Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”), at the end of March these families both purchased their new homes from Habitat for Humanity at an incredibly affordable price.

This type of partnership between Habitat and government-funded (and often locally-administered) programs ensures long-term affordability for low-income homebuyers. Programs through the Federal Government from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and the Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) of Dallas contributed more than $10,000 to the price of their homes through income-based down payment assistance.

For the Rodriguez and Washington families, this help translates into significantly lower mortgage payments every month, freeing their finances enough to provide for their children and grandchildren well into the future. Whether surviving on a single income with a baby on the way, or on a fixed income pension from Social Security, the increased affordability through down-payment assistance can make all the difference for Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity’s newest homeowners.

BCS Habitat for Humanity would especially like to thank the City of Bryan Office of Community Development for its wise administration of the CDBG from HUD and Commerce National Bank for its support administering the HELP grant from the FHLB of Dallas. The untiring dedication to increasing affordable and sustainable housing for working families in our community is inspiring and vital to what Habitat for Humanity does.

In Bryan and College Station, there are hardworking, low-income families who cannot afford to buy their own home. But thanks to organizations like yours, many more families can buy a simple, decent home that they can actually afford. And that is something you can be proud of.

In addition, both the Washington and the Rodriguez families received forms of competitive assistance originating from HUD, the Federal Reserve and the State of Texas through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (“TDHCA”). Thanks to this combination of no-interest bearing loans made possible by donations from the local community, TDHCA’s Texas Bootstrap Loan Program (“Bootstrap”) and these two down-payment assistance grants, the new homeowners have peace of mind that their mortgage payments are and will continue to be affordable until their homes are paid in full.

Bootstrap is a self-help housing construction program that provides very low-income families (“Owner-Builders”) an opportunity to purchase or refinance real property on which to build new housing or repair their existing homes through "sweat equity." Owner-builder's household income may not exceed 60% of Area Median Family 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 Nonprofit Owner-Builder Housing Provider (“NOHP”), such as BCS Habitat. There are various ways for how Owner-Builders may fulfill their sweat equity requirement. They may contribute the labor personally; they may build or rehabilitate housing for others; and/or they may receive noncontract labor assistance from friends, family, or volunteers.

The maximum Bootstrap loan may not exceed $45,000 per household. Owner-Builders may obtain additional loan funds from other TDHCA and non-TDHCA sources.

Need Assistance?
If you or someone you know needs similar assistance, please visit our Help for Texans page to find a local provider.

Administer this Program:
If you would like to administer this program to others in your community, please visit our Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) page for current opportunities.

Learn more about this program:
Texas Bootstrap Loan Program