Housing: Building with Sweat Equity

With an annual income of just $24,336, Armand Quiros, 58, and his wife Lois of Santa Barbara, Calif., had given up hope of ever owning a home in their neighborhood, where the average price is $191,768. But last week they broke ground on a new two-bedroom duplex, thanks to Homes for People, a private nonprofit agency that locates low-interest loans and inexpensive materials for people willing to contribute labor to the construction of their houses. The Quiros family will put in 16 hours a week: he doing carpentry and general cleanup, she as a volunteer worker in the...

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