Five families who spent the past year helping build their homes in Sussex and Kent County reaped the fruits of their labor May 17, as U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors made their final inspection rounds and gave them the clearance to move in.

USDA Rural Development partners with Milford Housing Development Council to offer affordable interest rates and mortgage payments to modest-income applicants who commit to nights and weekends to provide “sweat equity” in lieu of a down payment.

Models offered are three to four bedrooms and two bathrooms, with a minimum of a one-car garage.

The Self-Help Housing Program is MHDC’s premier homeownership program. The program was established by USDA Rural Development more than 40 years ago for very-low to low income families. Working under the supervision of MHDC construction supervisors, each family must commit a minimum of 27 hours per week. Families work on all homes as a group, and no one moves in until each home is complete. MHDC is the only agency in Delaware offering the program and has assisted more than 200 families achieve homeownership.

For more, visit or call 422-8255.