Rd instruction 1944-i table of Contents

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(Revision 2)

(11-15-90) SPECIAL PN

RD Instruction 1944-I

§ 1944.403 Definitions.
(a) Agreement. The Self-Help Technical Assistance Agreement, which is a document signed by Rural Development and the grantee, sets forth the terms and conditions under which TA funds will be made available. (Exhibit A of this subpart).
(b) Agreement period (or grant period). The period of time for which an agreement is in force. Generally, the period will not exceed 24 months.
(c) Date of completion. The date when all work under a grant is completed or the date in the TA grant agreement, or any supplement or amendment to it, when Federal assistance ends.
(d) Direct costs. Those costs that are specifically identified with a particular project or activity. Grantees receiving funds from a single grant source would consider all costs as direct costs.
(e) Disallowed costs. Those charges to a grant which Rural Development determines cannot be authorized.
(f) Equivalent units. Equivalent units represent the "theoretical number of units" arrived at by adding the equivalent percentage of completion figure for each family in the self-help program (pre-construction and actual construction) together at any given date during program operations. The sum of the percentage of completion figures for all participant families represent the total number of "theoretical units" completed at any point in time. Equivalent units are useful in measuring progress during the period of the grant and are not a measurement of actual accomplishments. The number of equivalent units for any group can never exceed the number of planned or completed houses for that group.
(g) Equivalent value of a modest house. The equivalent value of a modest house is the typical cost of a recent contractor-built Rural Development financed home in the area plus the actual or projected costs of an acceptable site and site development. If Rural Development has not financed a contractor-built house during the last twelve months, the value will be established by use of the Marshall and Swift cost handbook or a similar type of handbook. Equivalent value of a modest house is established by Rural Development.
(h) Indirect costs. Those costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore, cannot be readily and specifically identified with a particular project or activity, e.g. self-help.


(Revision 2)

§1944.403 (Con.) RD Instruction 1944-I

(i) Mutual self-help. The construction method by which participating families organized in groups generally of 4 to 10 families utilize their own labor to reduce the total construction cost of their homes. Participating families complete construction work on their homes by an exchange of labor with one another. The mutual self-help method must be used for new construction.

(j) Organization.
(1) A State, political subdivision, or public nonprofit corporation (including Indian tribes or Tribal corporations); or
(2) A private nonprofit corporation that is owned and controlled by private persons or interests and is organized and operated for purposes other than making gains or profits for the corporation and is legally precluded from distributing any gains or profits to its members.
(k) Participating family. Individuals and/or their families who agree to build homes by the mutual self-help method and rehabilitate homes by the self-help method. Participants are families with very low- or low-incomes who have the ability to furnish their share of the required labor input regardless of the handicap, age, race, color, national origin, religion, family status, or sex of the head of household. The participating family must be approved for a Section 502 RH loan or similar loans from other Federal, state, and private lenders that uses income guidelines substantially similar to the Department of Housing and Urban Development before the start of construction, have sufficient time available to assist in building their own homes, and show a desire to work with other families. Each family in the group must contribute labor on each other's homes to accomplish the 65 percent of the total 100 percent of tasks listed in Exhibit B-2 of this subpart. A participating family may use a substitute to perform the labor with prior approval of the Grantee and the Rural Development State Director. A substitute is only permitted when the participating family is incapacitated.
(l) Self-help. The construction method by which an individual family utilizes their labor to reduce the construction cost of their home without an exchange of labor between participating families. Unless otherwise authorized by the District Director, this method is only funded for repair and rehabilitation type construction.
(m) Sponsor. An existing entity that is willing and able to assist an applicant, with or without charge, in applying for a grant and in carrying out responsibilities under the agreement. Examples of sponsors are local rural electric cooperatives, institutions of higher education, community action agencies and other self-help grantees. Also, when available, regional technical and management assistance contractors may qualify to serve as a sponsor at no charge.


(11-15-90) SPECIAL PN

RD Instruction 1944-I

§1944.403 (Con.)

(n) Technical assistance. The organizing and supervising of groups of families in the construction of their own homes including:
(1) Recruiting families who are interested in sharing labor in the construction of each other's homes and assisting such families in obtaining housing loans.
(2) Conducting meetings of the families to explain the self-help program and subjects related to home ownership, such as loan payments, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and upkeep of the property.
(3) Helping families in planning and developing activities that lead to the acquisition and development of suitable building sites.
(4) Assisting families in selecting or developing house plans for homes which will meet their needs and which they can afford.
(5) Assisting families in obtaining cost estimates for construction materials and any contracting that may be required.
(6) Providing assistance in the preparation of loan applications.
(7) Providing construction supervision and training for families while they construct their homes.
(8) Providing financial supervision to individual families with Section 502 Rural Housing (RH) loans which will minimize the time and effort required by Rural Development in processing borrower expenditures for materials and contract services.
(9) Assisting families in solving other housing problems.
(o) Termination of a grant. The cancellation of Federal assistance, in whole or in part, at any time before the date of completion.
§1944.404 Eligibility.
To receive a grant, the applicant must:
(a) Be an organization as defined in §1944.403(j) of this subpart.

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