Housing authority to fete 8 new homes Thursday
By Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News
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Construction has started on four of the homes, said Carolyn Stimbert, Mutual Self Help group coordinator at Peninsula Housing Authority.
Thursday's gathering will be the formal celebration of the construction of this third group of eight homes at the site at Village Circle off Lindberg Road, just south of Peninsula Golf Course in Port Angeles, Stimbert said.
“It's mostly a celebration for the families,” she said.
Along with a ground-breaking ceremony, food will be available, and visitors can tour the homes that are under construction, she added.
“That's the part that's especially neat this time,” Stimbert said. “People can look at the quality” of the homes being built.
Construction started on the first four houses in May of this year.
“Bruce McCoppen, construction supervisor, is excited about the progress on these homes,” Stimbert said.
The excavation on the second four was begun Aug. 21.
Families look forward to being in their new homes next spring, Stimbert said.
Sixteen houses already have been completed under the Mutual Self Help Program.
Instead of a down payment, families who will live in the homes must promise to put in 32 hours a week working on their home and their neighbor's homes until all eight are finished.
“These hours are in addition to their regular jobs and caring for their families,” Stimbert said. “They commit to working every week, no matter what the weather does.”
Friends and extended families can help by putting in up to 17 hours per week, reducing the family's hours to a minimum of 15 hours.
Experts do some of the work, such as pouring foundations and installing electrical and plumbing work, as well as putting up dry wall and roofing, Stimbert said.
The work of the families gives them equity in their homes before they ever move in, she added.
The families in the program represent a cross-section of the community, Stimbert said.
“There are health care workers, blue-collar construction workers, service industry workers, self-employed and retired, and some with disabilities,” she said.
“These families all have one thing in common: they have a dream to own their own home,” she said.
Financial support for the program comes from several sources, Stimbert said.
The USDA Rural Development program provides grant funds that pay for staff, equipment, and administration of the program as well as direct loans to homeowners to cover lot and construction costs.
Housing and Urban Development funds help purchase and develop land while down payment assistance comes from the State Housing Trust Fund.
This is the seventh group of eight homes that the housing authority has built in Port Angeles, Stimbert said.
The next group of homes will be on the west side of town, between 14th and 16th and O and N streets.
Applications for those homes are being accepted now.
Peninsula Housing Authority provides pre-purchase counseling and education, credit repair and access to down payment assistance.
For more information, phone 360-452-7631 or visit the website at www.peninsulapha.org.
Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: September 03. 2012 4:51PM