A Homestead and Hope


A Homestead and Hope

Source of Digital Item

National Agricultural Library


subsistence homesteads


"SUBSISTENCE HOMESTEAD" consists of a modern but inexpensive house and outbuildings, located on a plot of land upon which a family may produce a considerable portion of the food required for home consumption.

THE DIVISION of Subsistence Homesteads is engaged in developing com-munities composed of from twenty-five to two or three hundred of such individual homesteads. The homesteads, when completed, are sold on liberal terms to families with annual incomes of less than $1,200. A 30-year purchase period is provided. The sales price of the average homestead is approximately $3,000. The Division's purchase plan enables a family to buy such a $3,000 homestead by making payments of $12.65 a month.

SINCE production of garden and farm commodities is for family use and not for commercial sale, it follows that a homesteader must have a small but reasonably assured cash income, or at least reasonably certain prospects of an income, once he is settled on his homestead. The homesteader’s cash income normally is derived from wage employment of some type. In a large proportion of cases this employment is of a part-time or seasonal nature.

THE SUBSISTENCE HOMESTEADS program assists an intermediate group. It accommodates persons who, on the one hand, are above the sheer relief level, but who, on the other hand, lack the savings and the income to enable them to obtain financing from private sources. Thus the subsistence homesteads program does not burden with further debt or tie down to a fixed locality persons who must seek employment actively, and neither does it compete with private enterprise in the financing of the more fortunate.


U.S. Department of the Interior. Division of Subsistence Homesteads; Federal Subsistence Homesteads Corporation