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A new home for the holidays

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POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

There's only a few programs like it in the country. It's Butler County's Mutual Self-Help Housing. 

Hard working families work as a team to build each other's homes, making it possible for them to see a dream come true. 

We followed a family in Poplar Bluff through the process. 

We first met Angel Hillis back in July. Now, after months of work her home is complete.

She had to put in 25 hours a week and learn things about construction she never imagined.

Angel Hillis says it was all worth it because now every night she and her 10-year-old daughter Madison get to walk through the front door of their dream home. 

"It's more than I ever thought I would have. This time last year we were living with my mom," said Angel. 

They say building their home and now moving in is a dream come true. 

"It was exciting I can't explain it I laid in bed for two hours thinking I am in my own home," said Angel. 

Butler County's Mutual Self-Help Housing program made it possible. 

Through federal grants people who work hard, but fall into the low-income range, can have a home with super low financing and payments. 

In exchange, Angel and her family put in 25 hours a week of hard labor. Family and friends can help you reach the required hours. 

"My brother built these cabinets so that means a lot to me because he put a lot into it," said Angel. "But it was my brothers, my mom, and my sisters - we all worked hard. A lot of blood sweat and tears went into this." 

Angel and Madison got to make a lot of the decorating decisions. Madison even chose to make her room all pink! 

The program's latest group of future home owners are working hard at another family's house in another subdivision. 

You don't just work on your home, but several other homes, as well. It's an old fashioned idea of neighbor helping neighbor. 

Angel says it's still surreal and she couldn't be more thankful to be in her home for the holidays. 

"Sometimes I have a hard time going to sleep because I'm thinking is this really mine," said Angel. 

In addition, their payments are lower than most rent would be.

An experienced contractor is always on site during the building process. 

The Mutual Self-Help Housing Program is a project of the Ozark Foothills Development Association and the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Mutual Self-Hel Housing helps families and individuals with low and moderate incomes work at a team to help each other build their dream home with the help of a construction supervisor.

With no cash or down payment, participants have to put in 25 hours of labor a week that can be split between friends and family. 

Loan applications are reviewed, accepted, and processed by the Ozark Foothills Development Association. 

You must pass a credit review and work as a team with other families building homes at the same time. Plans are pre-selected 

Homes Include:

-Energy efficient construction

-Two and three bedroom floor plans

-Decorating choices 

Adjusted income limits: Low income

1 member family = $26,800

2 member family = $30,600

3 member family = $34,450

4 member family = $38,250

5 member family = $41,300 

For more information, contact Jared Hicks:

3019 Fair Street

Poplar Bluff, Missouri 63901

(573)785-6402

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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