Answers to all of your questions about the greatest American opportunity since 1862.
What was the Homestead Act of 1862?
Between 1862 and 1934, the federal government granted 1.6 million homesteads and distributed 270,000,000 acres (420,000 sq mi) of federal land for private ownership. This was a total of 10% of all land in the United States. The Homestead Acts had few qualifying requirements. Any adult citizen, who had never borne arms against the U.S. government, could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land. The homesteader had to be the head of the household or at least twenty-one years old. They had to live on the designated land, build a home, make improvements, and farm it for a minimum of five years. About 40% of the applicants who started the process were able to complete it and obtain title to their homesteaded land after paying a small fee in cash. Homesteading was discontinued in 1976, except in Alaska, where it continued until 1986.
Is there a new Homstead Act?
There sure is!
How is the new Homestead act different?
Well we don't have 160 acres per citizen anymore, instead you can apply for 5.
Where is this land being taken from?
The process is a bit complicated, but here's how it will work.
Before this act was even passed, many farm subsides that primarily helped large scale corporate farms produce agriculture for non food purposes, including corn subsidies that paved the way for corn syrup's ubiquity as well as ethanol production. Ending those kinds of subsidies made many farms no longer profitable. The government has backstopped the loss of family farms, but allowed corporate farms to fall in to bankruptcy protection, where the land was purched. This is a continuing source, but has already resulted in millions of acres.
In order to make sure we can meet the demand for new homesteads, a second source of land will be national land, such as land managed by the National Park Service (NPS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
In order to claim a homestead you surrender your current home. As suburban and rural homes are surrendered, that land will be processed and made available for the third wave of homesteaders. The process will continue until all land outside of cities and near city suburbs has been made available to homesteaders.
Do I have to move on to a Homestead?
Of course not! Anyone who wishes to stay in a city or near city suburb is more than welcome to. Relocation to one of those places is not subsidized, but availability should be no problem with the likely exodus of citizens away to Homesteads. If Instagram has taught us anything, people want to wake up to the sounds of chickens at 5am, ready to greet the day!
Do I have to build a farmhouse?
While we would certainly suggest a home with adequate space for a growing family, tiny houses tend to be very popular options, and more affordable. Some people of course prefer #vanlife or a RV to get started as quickly and inexpensively as possible.