Bibliography Record Details

Accession Number: 14
Title: Sweat Equity Homesteading of Multifamily Housing in New York City.
Author(s): Burchman, Howard
Hill, Josh
Judd, Peter
Laven, Charles
St. Georges, Philip
Publication Date: 02/1977
Sponsoring Organization(s): U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Washington, DC
Performing Organization(s): Urban Homesteading Assistance Board
New York, NY
Availability: HUD USER, P.O. Box 23268, Washington, DC 20026-3268; phone (800) 245-2691; fax (202) 708-9981; or TDD (800) 927-7589
Descriptors: Sweat equity. Housing cost reductions. Self help housing. Housing for low income persons. Housing rehabilitation. Site selection. Building alterations. Construction costs.
Abstract: The "sweat equity" approach to urban homesteading in New York City is described as a unique process for involving previously unemployed community residents in the restoration of abandoned multiple unit buildings in severely deteriorated neighborhoods. Following an overview of the existing housing and neighborhood conditions in the city, the nature and scope of sweat equity benefits are examined, along with the financing mechanisms and legal constraints on urban homesteading in New York, urban homesteading economics, and available organizational support for sweat equity. Further, the planning and construction phases of a sweat equity project are outlined from site selection and preparation to architectural planning and cost estimating, and on to material acquisition and construction financing, supervision, and inspection. Within the framework of the sweat equity approach, each homesteader contributes a specified amount of voluntary labor during the construction phase; this construction establishes the homesteader's equity investment, hence the "sweat equity" catch phrase. In the 3 - year history of the New York initiative, over $1.5 million in mortgage money has been committed for the rehabilitation of 151 dwelling units. The most significant benefit of the approach has been the production of sound housing at prices affordable to low - income households. This was possible because the sweat equity process restores structures at approximately half the cost of conventional rehabilitation by reducing most labor expenses, using below - market interest rate financing, taking advantage of tax abatements and low site acquisition costs, eliminating contractor's overhead and profits, and utilizing recycled materials and reduced rate professional services. Tabular data and a flow chart of the sweat equity process are provided.