For the past four decades, Habitat for Humanity has provided thousands of families a place to call home. And this summer, three more will be added to that list.
As part of Habitat’s Home Builder’s Blitz, three homes will be built on Peach Lane in Sedona in a joint effort between the community, city and Habitat.
“This is a first for Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity to build three homes all at one time,” said Tania Simms, executive director of Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity. “We have never held a Home Builder’s Blitz here in the Verde Valley. We are very excited that the Sedona community and many supporters are coming together to accomplish this project.
“It’s a huge undertaking, but we have many resources available to us, as Home Builder’s Blitz is a Habitat for Humanity program that many Habitat affiliates across the country commit to and accomplish every year.”
This is not the first time a home will have been built in Sedona through Habitat for Humanity. A few years ago, one was built for Shandra Ryan and her three children in West Sedona. Simms said they’re extremely excited that they can build three more homes for families who live and work in the area.
The vacant property where the homes will be built was acquired through Habitat’s partnership with Ron and Linda Martinez. They found the lot, raised donations for a substantial amount of the cost to purchase it, and VVHFH paid the difference.
“It has the opportunity to be a wonderful community builder that will bring us together for a common good,” Ron Martinez said. “We hope to engage nonprofits, service clubs, schools, churches, businesses and lodging communities just to name a few. I already have the commitment of five to six Sedona general contractors who will be a part of the planning process. This planning, which will take place over the next six months, will be the key to the success of the project.”
“There are many, many volunteers and VVHFH staff who are involved in the planning and execution process,” she said. “The foundations and all pre-build work for the homes will be completed ahead of time so that the raising of the walls and the rest of the construction can be completed in the two-week blitz build time frame. There will be a lot of contractors and volunteers working many hours over a short period of time to be able to finish the homes in the two weeks.”
Many volunteers are needed to pull off such a big project — as many as 100, which is why they are getting the word out now. They need volunteers to participate on committees involved in the planning and fundraising process. Those volunteers are general and trade contractors, material suppliers, public relations, fundraisers, and homeowner selection.
Thereafter, they’ll need volunteers to help with other needs such as feeding all the workers and homeowners, security at the project site, site clean up, tools and supplies organization and management.
In terms of the selection process, homeowners have not yet been qualified and approved, but that will occur in upcoming months. They will hold workshops in Sedona and ask everyone who is interested in applying to attend the workshop to find out everything they need to know about the process and the need criteria.
In order to be considered, applicants must meet one of the following need criteria:
- Currently living in overcrowded living conditions.
- Currently living in substandard living conditions.
- Paying more than 30 percent of monthly income for housing.
- Unable to secure a traditional mortgage.
- Must have residence in the Verde Valley for no less than 12 consecutive months.
- No bankruptcies in the past 24 months.
- Be a legal resident of the United States.
- Have an ability to pay an affordable mortgage.
- Be willing to partner with VVHFH to build their home.
- Applicants must have an annual income that falls between 35 to 60 percent of the Yavapai County median income.
This project will have three threebedroom, two-bath homes, so they will be looking for applicants who meet the number of members who can live in that sized home. The income range for a three-person household starts at $17,262 and goes up to $39,456. The income range for a five-to-six-person household ranges from $20,714 and goes up to $50,854. Children of the same gender share a bedroom unless there are more
than 10 years separation in their ages.
Simms said approved homeowners must be willing to partner to build their home by completing sweat equity. A single-income household homeowner must complete a minimum of 300 sweat equity hours and a dual-income household, 450 sweat equity hours. Approved applicants must also complete financial management and budgeting workshops, and any other workshop they are asked complete in preparation for becoming a homeowner.
“When a family owns a home, it not only changes their current situation by providing strength, stability, sustainability and self-reliance; these traits of success and value of home ownership are passed down to the children and their future generations,” Simms said. “Through stable home ownership, the cycle of poverty and a life of financial struggling are changed.”