With a donated piece of land in hand, Habitat for Humanity of Spokane is gearing up to build four new homes in the Valley.
The announcement comes seven months after the nonprofit Christian group finished its first Valley home at Ninth and University. The four new homes will be located on a .65-acre parcel on Alki Avenue near Ella Road. Each will allow a low-income family to fulfill the dream of home ownership.
Currently, three Valley churches are involved in the effort. Habitat hopes to win the help of at least 10 more, along with businesses and individual volunteers. This will allow the group to build all four houses at once, and turn the keys over to waiting families sooner.
Last week, Habitat received verbal approval of a zone change which will allow it to subdivide the donated land into four parcels. Written approval is expected shortly. Each of the four homes will cost about $45,000 to build, said Dia Hadley, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Spokane. They will range from 900 square feet to 1,100 square feet and have between two and four bedrooms. None will have a basement, garage or dishwasher.
“They’re very simple, decent and affordable homes,” Hadley said.
Hadley hopes to begin site work on the land this fall, and spend the winter coordinating volunteers and gathering donations of money and materials. The group plans to begin construction next spring and finish by winter.
Habitat has not chosen specific families for the four Valley homes, but the future owners will come from a pool of qualified families already waiting for a house.
To qualify, the families must be low-income and living in poor housing conditions. They also must donate 500 hours of their own labor and show their ability to repay a no-interest loan, usually over 20 years.
“Some of these families are living in shacks,” said Don Carmichael, a Habitat volunteer from Millwood Community Presbyterian Church. A member of Carmichael’s church, who asked to remain anonymous, donated the land for the new projects. Land for the first Valley Habitat home also was donated. For Habitat, this is the only way to build in the Valley, Hadley said.
“There’s not a chance we could buy a lot here,” said Hadley, explaining that Habitat limits itself to spending $7,000 per project on land. As a result, most Habitat homes are built on small plots in Spokane.
Throughout Spokane County, Habitat for Humanity has completed 44 projects and has seven more under construction. The group will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in Spokane Friday.
For information on the Valley Habitat project, or to volunteer, call 534-2552.
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