Housing Oregon recently signed on to Habitat for Humanity’s letter to Congress to secure funding for two pivotal HUD programs: the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) and the Rural Capacity Building (RCB) program. These programs are lifelines for low-income families, particularly in rural areas, grappling with soaring housing costs and interest rates.

SHOP, a program with consistent bipartisan support, plays a unique role in empowering nonprofit organizations to aid low-income families through the self-help homeownership model. Since its inception in 1996, SHOP has facilitated the construction of over 35,000 homes, housing more than 100,000 adults and children. Notably, over 40% of these homes are in rural areas, and nearly 60% of the families served earn below 50% of the area median income (AMI). The program’s focus on defraying land acquisition and infrastructure costs addresses a significant challenge for housing nonprofits. Despite its successes, SHOP’s demand significantly surpasses its funding, highlighting the need for increased support.

The RCB program complements SHOP by empowering national organizations to assist local rural housing nonprofits. It focuses on providing training, technical assistance, and financial resources essential for strengthening community capacity in high-need rural areas.

By signing the letter addressed to the Congressional Appropriations Committees, Housing Oregon joins a broad coalition urging for an allocation of $20 million for SHOP and $6 million for the RCB Program in the FY2025 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. This support underscores our commitment to affordable housing and community development, reflecting our core values and mission. Your organization can sign on, too, before Mar 4, 2024.