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Self-Help Homes:

The last home in Uniontown has a sale pending, but don't worry because,  We are planning the next 4 homes to be built!

  • We are taking pre-applications for the homes to be built in Palouse.

  • If you need more than 3 bedrooms, please submit your pre-application soon!  We need to know before foundations are poured in early spring how many 3, 4, or bedrooms to build!


  • The homes will be similar to the ones built in Uniontown and Palouse.  So take a look at the pictures and floor plans of 605 Wheatland Court in Uniontown.


  • Keep watching for updates on the Palouse Homes!

Take a look at the inside:

The information below was for the Uniontown Homes.  The information is subject to change for the Palouse Homes that will be built!

If you are dreaming of owning a home, then now is the time to do something about it! Submit a pre-application today & you could be on the way to owning YOUR NEW HOME!

The Community Action Center (CAC) is committed to give you the opportunity to turn your dream of owning your own home into a reality.  You can buy a new home without saving for years to come up with the required down payment.  You paint the inside & landscape your yard.  No previous experience is required and you do it when you have time

Click here to print a pre-application


    How many hours will I have to work on my new home? 

    • Family:  The required minimum is 50 hours for each adult household member (2 adults = 100 hours), and

    • Volunteers:  1 hour of volunteer labor is required.  Volunteers will need to sign a Release and Hold Harmless Agreement before they can work on your home.  Don't worry we provide the agreements!

    • Reasonable accommodations will be provided for homebuyers with disabilities in order to meet the minimum work requirements.  Please let us know if you need a reasonable accommodation.

    • You can have as many volunteers as you want, but their time does not count toward the minimum hours required for the family (unless you need reasonable accommodations).

    • Timesheets are provided for family and volunteers to record their time worked and tasks performed.   

    • There is no maximum number of hours.  It may take one family over 200 hours to complete the painting while another family completes it in 100 hours.  Don't worry it's not hard to meet the minimum!

    • We know that you are working and the self-help work can be completed in the evenings and on weekends.  Set your own hours - just record the time.


    What work do I have to do?

    • Paint the inside of your homeYes, you get to choose the colors!

      • CAC purchases the paint - you purchase the paint brushes, rollers, trays, etc.

    • Landscape your yard.

      • We pay for the landscaping items up to $1,200 for grass seed, trees, shrubs, flowers, etc.  You purchase the lawn tools (shovels, rakes, etc) and do the labor.

    • Construction clean-up of the interior of the home.


    What do you get for your work?

  • Purchase price maybe reduced for your work
  • We provide a second loan as needed to help make the house affordable.  The loan we provide is to "bridge the gap", between the purchase price and the approved loan amount from the lender. 
  • The purchase price is not known at this time!  Your payment could be less than what you're paying for rent.

   Eligibility Requirements

Income of the household:  Cannot exceed the following levels (effective 2/12/14). 

Income includes the gross income of all members of the household.

All support, benefit payments, and interest income must be included.

Family Size (Permanent household members at the time of the application.

1 person 2 people 3 4 5 6
$3,021 month $3,450 $3,883 $4,313 $4,658 $5,004
$36,250 year $41,400 $46,600 $51,750 $55,900 $60,050


Credit:   The applicant's credit report must demonstrate a willingness to repay debts.  Most banks require a credit score of at least 640.  The best thing to do is submit your pre-application (It doesn't cost you anything).  We have resources that can help get your score up to the minimum.

Income to Debt Ratios:  The lender sets the guidelines but In most cases, the ratio may not exceed 33% for housing debt payments (principal, interest, taxes, & insurance) and 41% for total debt.

Total Indebtedness secured by the home may not exceed 100% of the appraised value of the home (your total mortgage loans cannot be more than the appraised value).

Primary Residence:  The home must be your primary residence and you must abide by all the terms and conditions of the loan.

The best thing to do is submit your pre-application and we can see what your credit score is and debt to income ratios.  We can work with you to help increase your credit score and lower your debt to income ratios.


Family Expectations and Contributions:  Each family will be expected to:

  • Sign and abide by the Self-Help Participation Agreement, which defines the roles, actions, and responsibilities of the Community Action Center and families.  Click here to read the Agreement

  • Provide the required minimum of hours, as described in the section "How many hours will I have to work on the home?" or in the Agreement, Section IV  Labor Commitment.

  • Provide basic tools for painting and landscaping.

  • If required by the lender, obtain a First Time Homebuyers certificate for each adult household member.

self-help painting

The work for your down payment approach

The approach called "sweat equity" or "self-help" brings affordable, new homes to families with moderate and lower income. We search for an appropriate building site and purchase enough land to build the homes. Community Action Center arranges for experienced contractors to construct the homes & level the ground for landscaping.  If necessary, CAC or the contractor will teach the homebuyers how to complete the sweat equity work to finish their home. The contributions made by the families may reduce the purchase price.

  • No previous construction experience is required.

  • You can work in the evenings, weekends, or whenever you have time.  The faster you complete your assigned tasks, the faster you get to move into YOUR NEW HOME!

  • Click for the Self-Help Program Description

We will help you every step of the way!  The Community Action Center will:

  • Assist you with your pre-application and application to the lender.  We have been using Republic Mortgage to provide your mortgage.  The loan product used is the USDA 502 Guarantee Loan so we can provide the down payment loan to you.  Not all loan officers/lenders provide the USDA 502 loans.  Republic Mortgage provides USDA 502 loans, FHA, & VA loans.  If you would like to use another lender, please let us know on your pre-application!

  • Teach skills to homeowners as necessary to enable them to complete their self-help portion of the home.

For more information

Call: Sandy 509-334-9147

Email:  sandym@cacwhitman.com or        dalem@cacwhitman.com

Toll Free in Washington: 1-800-482-3991

Fax: 509-334-9105 

TTY:  1-800-833-6388                                         


You will need the latest version of Adobe Reader in order to read or print the application.

Click here for a pre-application

If you can't print the pre-application, we can mail it to you or pick one up at our office. 

Don't delay - get your pre-app turned in today!!!

Return your completed Pre-Application to:

Self-Help Program

Community Action Center

350 SE Fairmont Road #1

Pullman, WA 99163