Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
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Texas Bootstrap Loan Program

Documents

Purpose

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (Department) administers the Owner-Builder Loan Program, also known as the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program (Bootstrap). 

The Texas Bootstrap Loan Program is a self-help housing construction program that provides very low-income families (Owner-Builders) an opportunity to purchase or refinance real property on which to build new housing or repair their existing homes through "sweat equity."  Owner-builder's household income may not exceed 60% of Area Median Family Income. 

All Owner-Builders are required to provide at least 65% of the labor necessary to build or rehabilitate their housing by working with a state-certified Nonprofit Owner-Builder Housing Provider (NOHP).  There are various ways for how Owner-Builders may fulfill their sweat equity requirement.  They may contribute the labor personally; they may build or rehabilitate housing for others; and/or they may receive noncontract labor assistance from friends, family, or volunteers.  If the Owner-Builder has a documented disability or other limiting circumstances and cannot provide any of the personal labor required, he or she may fulfill their sweat equity requirement entirely through noncontract labor assistance from friends, family, or volunteers.  All construction activity in the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program must be under the supervision of a state certified NOHP.

The maximum Bootstrap loan may not exceed $45,000 per household.  Owner-Builders may obtain additional loan funds from other Department and non-Department sources as long as the total amount of amortized repayable loan funds from all sources does not exceed $90,000. 

Funding

The Department is required under Section 2306.753(d) of the Texas Government Code to set aside at least two-thirds of the available funds for Owner-Builders whose property is in a census tract that has a median household income that is not greater than 75% of the median state household income for the most recent year.

Census Tracts Eligible under the 2014/2015 Texas Bootstrap Loan Program 2/3 Set-Aside (XLS)

To obtain the census tract number for any address, use the FFIEC Council's Geocoding System (www.ffiec.gov/Geocode/Default.aspx).

Eligible Organizations

The following entities are eligible to participate in the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program:

  • Colonia Self Help Centers established under Section 2306, Subchapter Z, Texas Government Code; or
  • NOHP certified by the Department pursuant to Section 2306.755 of the Texas Government Code and Section 24.13 of Title 10, Part 1, Chapter 24 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

Nonprofit organizations wishing to become a certified NOHP must complete a Certification Application (DOC form).

Owner-Builders may only participate in the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program under the supervision of a certified NOHP. 

NOHP List (PDF)

Eligible Owner-Builders

Eligible Owner-Builders must meet the following minimum requirements before applying to the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program:

  • May not have an annual household income that exceeds 60% of the state or local median family income (whichever is greater) when combined with the income of any person who resides with the Owner-Builder Applicant, as determined by the Department.  View Bootstrap Program 60% AMFI Income Limits.
  • Must provide at least 65% of the labor necessary to build or rehabilitate the proposed housing;
  • Must successfully complete an Owner-Builder Education Class;
  • Must have resided in Texas for at least six (6) months prior to the date of application;
  • Total Debt-to-Income Ratio may not exceed 45%;
  • Must have a credit history that indicates reasonable ability and willingness to meet debt obligations.  To make this determination, the Department will obtain a tri-merge credit report for every Owner-Builder application submitted to the Department.

For additional information, please contact Raul Gonzales at raul.gonzales@tdhca.state.tx.us.