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To Build Home is to Be Home | Documentary Idea

by Jamie Martina
(Hendersonville, NC USA)

Low- to middle-income families and individuals go through a process to get approved for a USDA loan to build their own house using "sweat equity". They build their homes as well as other clients who were approved to build in the same neighborhood.


Each circumstance follows the same linear progression of getting approved, building, then moving in, but each circumstance is the head of its own tree of events that led them to that point of readiness to purchase their own home.

I want to dig deep into their personal lives to find what motivates them, what makes them continue when the construction causes grief or when getting their credit in order is more frustrating than they ever imagined.

I want to find the face of America that still feels it is the individual's responsibility to "pull oneself up by their bootstraps" with the help of caring organizations and government programs that give "hand ups" instead of "hand outs."

Self-Help housing is the name of the program, managed by the Housing Assistance Corporation in Hendersonville, NC. If expanded, the documentary project would find similarities in people's stories not just in this county, but in counties across the rest of rural, USA.

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Jan 26, 2013
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a few thoughts NEW
by: Desktop Documentaries

Thanks Jamie for your idea. This story reminds me a lot of what Habitat for Humanity is doing with a "hand-up, not a hand-out." These are great stories.

Is your idea to make a film that promotes Self-Help Housing or simply the families and issues around affordable housing? Curious what is it that got you interested in this idea? Where would you imagine this film showing? PBS? Or maybe simply as a fundraising film that these various organizations could use?

By the way, there's a nicely done documentary called "Home" by Jeffrey Togman that's worth checking out.

"Home" Documentary Review.

Thanks again!

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