September 2004

Press Contact:
Sarah Bockhold

Families Handed Keys to New Homes

Tomorrow Ends Two Year Journey for Lucky Families Moving into Peoples' Self-Help Housing Homes in Los Alamos

--Media Advisory--

Tuesday, September 28, 11 AM-12 Noon, Bridle Path Estates, 525 Foxen Lane, Los Alamos (Outdoors)

Los Alamos, CA—Construction activity at the Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH) affordable housing site in Los Alamos will end tomorrow when the last 11 families receive the keys to their new homes. These 11 families are part of the 22 home development Bridle Path Estates in Los Alamos.

Starting tomorrow morning at 9 AM the primary lender USDA Rural Development will sign off on the homes and the families will then be able to start occupying their homes. The project was launched on Election Day, November 5, 2002, when PSHH conducted a drawing at the County Board of Supervisors to determine the order in which applications would be processed for the 22 affordable self-help built homes. Out of 200 + applications, 22 were selected. These 22 households represent our area's workforce and are employed at Alisal Ranch, Global Gardens, The Dunn School, Zaca Mesa Winery, Santa Barbara County, Kendall Jackson Winery and other area businesses.

The program was designed for lower income households to be able to purchase a home at an affordable price. Groups of 11 families worked together under the supervision of PSHH to construct one another's houses and thru this process built community. The first 11 families completed their homes in June, 2004.

PSHH purchased the land, put in streets and utilities, and packaged financing for each qualifying applicant. Participating owner-builders lowered their house cost by contributing a minimum of 1,200 hours of construction labor per family.

This "sweat equity" is used in lieu of a cash down payment. Additionally this collective effort creates neighborhood ties and an overall sense of pride through the direct construction involvement of its future residents. Participating families had to meet minimum eligibility requirements including good credit and rental history. Using the mutual self-help concept families worked weekends this past year to complete their homes.

Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH) is an award winning non-profit organization with over 30 years of experience developing housing for low-income and special needs households on California's Central Coast (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties). PSHH also provides assistance in the design and implementation of community development programs for numerous cities, counties and community groups.