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Through sweat equity, families aid each other in building new homes

April 13, 2014

Melina Letourneau and her fiance, Leo Cote, will be starting construction on their new house this summer.

BURRILLVILLE — Given that they have little or no experience in carpentry or the construction trades, the members of six families from the Greater Woonsocket area are going to be spending a good part of the summer doing something very strange.

They’re going to help build each other’s houses on a parcel of land not far from Pascoag Reservoir.

They’ve signed on to the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, which makes new housing affordable for buyers with limited resources by allowing them to do much of the labor themselves. The program was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1971 and has been widely used in other parts of the country, but it hasn’t been seen anywhere in Rhode Island for 25 years, according to Ainsley Cantoral, spokeswoman for NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley.

Full story appears on page A1 of Monday's Call.

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